Saturday, July 07, 2007

Tevez transfer - it isn't a done deal yet...

IT seems that the transfer of Carlos Tevez to Manchester United isn't a done deal after all. The Red Devils have stayed silent on the proposed move, and it was the lawyers who represent the player's agent who spoke out stating that Tevez had agreed personal terms with United and that the discussions between the player and suitors was done so with the full knowledge of West Ham United who currently hold the player's registration.

Reds fans will be hoping that Manchester United and West Ham United can broker some sort of deal in the week ahead, because the only thing for certain at this stage is that Tevez wants out of the East London club and judging by his comments he is desperate to play for the Red Devils.

So Manchester United have to broker some sort of deal with West Ham, the big question is what sort of fee will the Hammers try to prize out of United for a player who they do not own? Granted the Hammers do hold the player's registration which is now seemingly a very valuable document.

When you think about it, when was the last time that a player 'agreed personal terms' before the transfer was officially announced by either of the clubs concerned? I cannot ever remember this happening before and it therefore seems that the players agent has spoken out of turn.

Many fans, including moi, will have assumed that all parties have been inlvolved in the discussions, but reading between the soundbites which have been coming out via the media, seeminly not. The whole transfer saga is of course caught up in the court case with Sheffield United which centres on ownership of Tevez and Mascherano and the deal that took them to Upton Park.

This situation only serves to highlight why third party ownership of players is fraught with difficulties. Further to which, apparently third party ownership of players is not actually against the rules of the Premier League, but what is very much against the rules is something known as "side agreements" which translates to third parties holding influence over the club in question, in this case West Ham, or United if the deal goes ahead.

United may well take the view that they agree with paying the Hammers a fee, because further down the line the Red Devils could find themselves in a similar situation, ie wanting a fee for a player that they do not actually own. However, the most likely scenario is that when Tevez does actually move on, and he will at some point, it will be to a club in Europe. Quite where that would leave United is open to question, I guess like the Hammers the Reds would hold that player's all important registration which again could prove to be a very valuable document.

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