Carlos Tevez has ended his four-year stay at City and joined Italian champions Juventus in a deal potentially worth £12m. Tevez has signed a three-year deal for an initial £10m fee and will wear the number 10 shirt previously worn by Alessandro Del Piero.
It was an inevitable sale of a player who had only 12 months left on his deal and had made clear he wouldn’t be renewing. By selling him this summer, the club have effectively saved around £27m when the fee and his remaining salary are combined.
Despite this, some City fans seem shocked and disappointed at Tevez’s departure, but the club had little option. It makes far more sense to cut our losses now and save a substantial amount of money, rather than lose him for nothing next season. At 29, Tevez’s best days are probably behind him, and his sale allows us to free up cash to purchase a younger striker.
The investment we made in Tevez was huge: £200k-per-week wages, huge bonus incentives and a reported £47m payment made to his advisors to secure his signature, with James Ducker of the Times claiming the deal cost the club circa £93m in total.
Even with the eye-watering sums Ducker purports factored in, it would be silly to think Tevez was a failure at the club. It was his arrival, probably more than any other, which helped convince people that City meant business; that we would stop at nothing to achieve our goal of becoming a successful side. It sent a message to other players and helped convince them to join.
In his first two seasons he was superb, regularly dragging us through games with his desire and ability. During his four years as a City player, he was the fifth highest scorer in the Premier League. He made a total of 148 appearances for the club, scoring 74 goals. It’s an impressive rate for a player who brought so much more than goals to the table. When he was fit and playing regularly, his attitude on the field was superb, with a work-rate and desire matched by very few in world football.
However, his refusal to warm up and come on as a substitute away to Bayern Munich in 2011 – which led to a self-imposed six-month exile – disgraced our club. The watching world, quite rightly, viewed City as a shambles, and it left Roberto Mancini looking desperately weak and totally undermined. Mancini’s interview after that match transcended football rivalry, with the football community backing a manager who was clearly distraught and embarrassed – his eyes glazed and his face colourless. Tevez returned to Argentina and refused to play for us, despite his incredible salary and the love the fans had shown him since his arrival. I don’t expect footballers to be examples of how to behave, but this incident was something else. It’s a shocking stain on Tevez’s City career and I, for one, struggled to ever appreciate him properly again.
He eventually came back into the side after the club dished out record fines. We had given him a public arse slapping, before doing the sensible thing and getting him back in the squad to help us secure the title. Some fans welcomed him back with open arms, even after his nauseating ‘golf swing’ celebration during a fine performance away at Norwich, but I just couldn’t do it. My loyalty was with the manager he had disgraced.
Last season, his final at the club, he failed to recapture his form from before his hiatus, and made it clear he wanted to run his contract down and leave City for nothing. It left us with little option but to pursue a transfer, and with very few clubs willing to take on his wages and his ego, Juve’s offer was always going to be listened to. Juventus have got themselves a fine player, but Carlos Tevez comes with baggage. I’m grateful for his contribution to our success, but at the same time I’m glad to see the back of such an odious character.