SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Brazilian powerhouse Corinthians is set to make an offer in its long-standing pursuit of Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez.
Tevez, an Argentine, had been close to inking a deal with the team during the summer transfer window for a reported €45 million (US$62 million). The deal eventually fell through, and the new offer will be significantly less, the team’s president said.
“It was quite difficult to sign him during the summer because we only had a short time. Our transfer window was closing,” Corinthians general manager Edu told reporters.
Tevez, 27, has made it clear he does not want to continue playing for the Premier League team, despite a contract that runs through June 2014.
His recent refusal to go on the pitch during a match against Bayern Munich prompted the club’s management to meet.
Manager Roberto Mancini said he hoped Tevez never played for the team again. Tevez has scored 43 goals in 65 games for Manchester City.
“He is not worth €45 million. We will make an offer well below it,” Corinthians President Andres Sanches told reporters. “I don’t know if they will accept it. The gap is huge. I have a value in mind but I won’t say what it is.”
Tevez previously played for Corinthians from 2004 to 2006.
“He is very famous in Brazil and everyone loves him. The fans want him,” Edu said. “I want to see how Carlos Tevez is here and what the situation is.”
Argentina shooting for gold at Pan American Games
Argentina’s national basketball team already has claimed a gold medal during the FIBA America’s tournament last month, but its busy year is far from over.
The country is sending a team of reserves vying for playing time on the senior squad to compete at the upcoming Pan American Games. The event takes place from Oct. 14 to 30 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
“It’s a very big chance with young players representing the country in a competition as important as this,” Enrique Tolcachier, who will coach the country’s team at the Pan American Games, told reporters. “This list was discussed and agreed with (senior team coach) Julio Lamas, who is constantly in touch with me.”
The team consists of Luis Cequeira, Juan Fernández, Nicolás Laprovíttola, Miguel Gerlero, Luciano González, Juan Emilio Fernández Chávez, Marcos Mata, Matías Sandes, Pablo Espinoza, Nicolás Romano, Alejandro Alloatti and Marcos Delía.
Argentina punched its ticket to the 2012 London Games by beating Brazil in the FIBA Americas gold medal game last month. But if La Albiceleste wants to earn a medal at the Pan American Games, it must buck several recent trends.
The team has participated in the games 14 times but has a mere three medals – gold in 1995 and silver in 1955 and 1951. Overall, Argentina has reached the semifinals just five times.
“The players are very young and are projected to integrate into the main national team in the future,” Tolcachier told reporters. “This is a very big opportunity for them.”
Ramires eyeing Olympic gold
The Brazilian midfielder and Chelsea star earned a bronze medal at the Beijing Games in 2008 and wants to parlay that experience into his country’s first gold medal in soccer next August.
“I had never played an official competition for the national team before, so to go to the Olympics, where Brazil had never won a gold medal, was like something out of this world,” Ramires told reporters. “We hoped to win and we felt we were going to, but unfortunately we finished third. I still have the medal today and keep it as if it is pure gold.”
One of the biggest draws for Ramires, 24, would be the chance to play at Wembley Stadium in London, one of the world’s most famous sporting venues.
“I would love to play at Wembley, and if I am called I would have no problem at all,” he told reporters.
Maradona touting Messi’s merits
Diego Maradona never doubted star Lionel Messi.
But most importantly, he never let Messi doubt himself.
After the striker claimed his first FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2009, Maradona told his prodigy not to relinquish the mantle to Portuguese and Real Madrid Star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi listened. He claimed last year’s FIFA World Player of the Year honors and has emerged as one of the top players on the planet, guiding FC Barcelona to Champions League titles in two of the past three years.
“Messi is a great guy and deserves it,” Maradona told reporters. “When he first beat Ronaldo, afterwards I told him ‘You must make sure you keep him in second place.’ And last year, [Ronaldo] finished second again.”
But Maradona isn’t the only person who said Messi has done enough to be regarded as the top player on the globe.
“I have no doubts that Messi is the best footballer in the world and one of the greatest in history,” FC Barcelona midfielder Xavi told reporters. “We enjoy his play on and off the pitch and what he does is incredible. Messi is very humble, a great team-mate and a reference point for Barcelona.”
Ronaldo agrees, too.
“[Messi] is now the best,” he told reporters. “He has a personality and I have mine. He has his game and I have mine. I also play in a big club like him. We are different in every aspect.”