Last updated : 10 July 2007 By editor

From the Times:

'Sir Alex Ferguson insisted yesterday that Manchester United have left nothing to chance in their attempts to sign Carlos Tévez and is hoping that a deal for the West Ham United and Argentina forward will be concluded shortly.

'United have an agreement in principle with West Ham for Tévez, who is expected to join the champions on a two-year loan once he returns from Copa America, in Venezuela, next week. The Premier League has stipulated that, for the transfer to be sanctioned, any fee for Tévez must be paid to West Ham and not Kia Joorabchian, the Iranian businessman who owns the economic rights to the player, but Ferguson does not foresee any problems and claims that David Gill, the United chief executive, and Maurice Watkins, the club's lawyer, have spent the past month making sure that everything is above board.

'"It's been well documented that we are in negotiations with Carlos Tévez and, in essential parts, it is all agreed," the United manager, who was offered the player last summer but declined to sign him on the basis that there were too many grey areas, said. "Now we are just hoping to finalise it soon.

'"I don't know the intricacies about it - I've left that to Maurice Watkins - but I'm sure that the outcome will be that we will be taking him [Tévez] with complete transparency in the deal.

'United had hoped to have the deal wrapped up over the weekend, but Ferguson claimed yesterday that the Premier League "must be holding it up", an allegation denied by the organisation, which said that it was awaiting the paperwork for the transfer.

'Tévez will cost United about £6 million over the course of the two years, at the end of which they will have the option to buy him permanently, but Joorabchian will probably demand a large slice, if not all of that fee, meaning that West Ham must reach a settlement with the Iranian either before or after the transfer is concluded that satisfies all parties, including the Premier League, which is to scrutinise any deal.'

Independent's take on the latest situation:

'Lawyers from Manchester United and West Ham were yesterday frantically trying to find a solution that will allow Carlos Tevez to move to the Premiership champions. Privately, West Ham accept that the Argentine has played his final game for them, but the Premier League are still insisting that the club - rather than the businessman Kia Joorabchian - receive the bulk of the £35m transfer fee that could be paid by United.

'That insistence has held up the deal - indeed it has led to an impasse - although United are also yet to submit a formal transfer bid for Tevez to West Ham. "There is still no proposal on the table," a West Ham source said last night.

'Yesterday the United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said he believed that Tevez was close to signing - but that view is contradicted by all the other parties. "It's been well documented that we are in negotiations with Carlos Tevez and in essential parts it is all agreed," Ferguson said. "Now we are just hoping to finalise soon." At present that is a hugely optimistic statement with the Premier League remaining firm that West Ham had given undertakings that Tevez is their player and therefore cannot be sold by a third party.

'They also dismiss arguments from Joorabchian, West Ham and United that the transfer is similar to the deal that took Javier Mascherano to Liverpool, saying the circumstances are very different because West Ham did not claim that the midfielder was theirs and hold on to him.

'Legal action would have to be instigated by Joorabchian and although he is loath to do so it also appears that he would have a strong case. For West Ham paying him compensation may be preferable to the possibility of another Premier League inquiry - and of a points deduction - which is also being threatened. Ferguson revealed that United, through their solicitor Maurice Watkins, had been working on the deal for a month and were confident that it had been sorted out.'