LONDON – Manchester City’s chairman has criticized AC Milan over its pursuit of Carlos Tevez, whose ongoing insubordination has now cost the striker 9 million pounds ($14 million) in fines or lost earnings from the club.
Milan, crosstown rival Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain have been in transfer talks over Tevez, but City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said Tuesday that he is dissatisfied with the lack of “appropriate” offers.
Al Mubarak said in a strongly worded statement that Milan have “developed a misplaced sense of confidence” in the negotiations, and indicated that City is willing to keep Tevez for the remaining 2 1/2 years of his contract.
That came as one official said City has fined Tevez 1.2 million pounds for the latest episode of misconduct — travelling without permission in November to Argentina, where he is now. He has also missed out on 1.7 million pounds in wages over the last two months, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the fines are not being publicly discussed.
The person said that by handing in a transfer request last season, Tevez also forfeited a six million-pound loyalty bonus that would have been due to him under the terms of his contract.
The striker was also given a hefty fine for refusing to warm up during a Champions League game at Bayern Munich this season, which led to a massive falling out with manager Roberto Mancini.
Tevez’s relations with City broke down during last season after the striker said he wanted to leave England to be closer to his family, which moved back to Argentina after failing to settle in Manchester. However, the club refused the then-captain’s transfer request, and Tevez went on to help City end a 35-year trophy drought with a victory in the FA Cup final.
But he then enraged Mancini with his act of insubordination in Munich in September and has not played for the team since. City is now trying to offload the Argentine forward — but insists it won’t do so on the cheap.
“Carlos remains a player with contractual obligations to Manchester City for the next two and a half seasons,” Al Mubarak said in a rare public statement. “Unless we receive an offer that we deem appropriate the terms of his contract will be enforced.
“Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain approached discussions with us in good faith and it is always a positive experience to deal with people with a professional approach.”
But talks with Milan, which had been the leading contender to sign Tevez, have been fraught.
“As things stand AC Milan isn’t an option for Carlos Tevez,” Al Mubarak said in a statement first issued to Abu Dhabi’s National newspaper. “(AC Milan chief executive Adriano) Galliani and his advisers have developed a misplaced sense of confidence from their premature discussions with Carlos and his advisers.
“If they want to be a consideration in this transfer window they would do better to stop congratulating one another and begin to look at how they would meet our terms.”
City wants at least 25 million pounds for the player signed from Manchester United before the 2009-10 season for a fee that estimates have put between 25 and 47 million pounds.
After the Munich incident, Tevez was suspended by City for two weeks and fined a fortnight’s wages for refusing to resume refusing to warming up during the match.
An internal disciplinary hearing found Tevez guilty of five breaches of contract, including bringing the club into disrepute and failing to follow the instructions of his manager.
Returning to Argentina in the wake of those sanctions — without permission — seems to have ended any hope of the striker playing for City again.
City has not struggled without him, with the team on course to win the English championship for the first time since 1968 as it sits top of the standings just after the midway point of the season.
By not returning since Nov. 7, though, City found Tevez guilty of gross misconduct on Dec. 22. Although he appealed, that was rejected by the club directors, leading to the latest fines of 2.9 million pounds. Tevez still has until Jan. 30 to appeal against the punishment to the Premier League.
City would not comment on its disciplinary process or fines.
Tevez’s representatives would not comment on the fines, but said in a statement that “money has never been a motivation” in his career.
“We reached an agreement with Manchester City in terms of his wages and he returned to Argentina and nothing has changed on that front,” the statement said. “Now all Carlos wants to do is get back to playing football again.”
Rob Harris can be reached at http://twitter.com/RobHarrisUK