Carlitos Tevez is at the focus of mounting transfer speculation as the European market prepares to close; AWOL in Argentina, popping up in Buenos Aires for a bit of a song and dance; and perhaps causing the downfall of the rollercoaster partnership between Corinthians and shady investment group MSI.
Octogenarian President Alberto Dualib – the man who invited MSI in and now wants them out – is hoping to pocket a whopping 20% of the profit from any sale of the Albiceleste striker. He also wants the absentee punished for his sudden, unauthorised disappearance.
“Until today our position was firmly against a transfer of Mr. Tevez. This is now being reanalysed and there’s room for a punishment within the boundaries of the law as the club wasn’t consulted before he travelled,” he explained to São Paulo radio station Jovem Pan.
Dualib added that the Paulista club hasn’t received any firm offers for the player despite a grapevine that’s been rustling madly with talk of a $30 million Manchester United offer and late interest from the Bayern Munich who were stomped 4-0 by Barcelona.
The player’s agent, Adrián Ruocco, is apparently busy with negotiations in London, working side-by-side with MSI head honcho Kia Joorabchian on a transfer deal that’ll see the Argentine number 11 ply his trade in the old world. Dualib wants the club to get a cut of any juicy deal.
However the contract the President signed in order to get himself re-elected specifies that the 20% he’s got his eye on will only be paid if profits are $15 million+. This means that any deal for the player must reach the $37 million mark given that he was bought from Boca for $22 million.
Corinthians’ legal department, however, are working on wheedling open a loophole – FIFA regulations stipulating that negotiations must be club-club – that means that Tevez can only be sold with Alberto Dualib’s signature: something that the ageing exec will refuse until MSI coughs up the cash.
MSI, nevertheless, have a ‘Plan B’: the player is under contract with the Parque São Jorge club until January 2007 but MSI have bought his rights until 2009. This means that Joorabchian and supposed backer Boris Berezovski can tough it out for the next four months and leave Corinthians empty-handed.
With a week left until the transfer window slams shut, neither MSI nor Corinthians want their fingers caught. It seems a fait accompli that Tevez will leave Brazil for Europe: unless the arm wrestle between the warring execs has a collateral casualty – Carlitos Tevez waiting in the void without a stage on which to star, and that would be a crying shame.