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Fergie signs Tevez | Daily Mail Online

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Fergie signs Tevez

EXCLUSIVE By LEE CLAYTON and ASHLEY GRAY in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela

Last updated at 23:48 05 July 2007


Carlos Tevez last night agreed to join Manchester United in a permanent deal worth more than £20million.

The move will be completed next week, subject to any

challenge from West Ham, who still claim to own the registration of the player who saved them from relegation last season.

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However, West Ham have

no contract with Tevez and

his owner, businessman Kia Joorabchian, which has left the player and his representative free to negotiate a transfer with other clubs.

The news, breaking in South America last night, means that United will take their summer buying past the £70m mark,

confirming them as the biggest spenders in world football.

Tevez was once fined when playing for Brazil's Corinthians for turning up to an official press conference wearing a Manchester United shirt.

He will fly from Argentina's Copa America base here to

join United's pre-season programme.

"He just cannot contain his excitement at the news," a source close to the Argentina camp confirmed. "Tevez has been concerned about his future,

worried about where he may play next season and now he is joining the biggest club in the world! This is massive news."

Tevez is best friends with United's Argentine defender Gabriel Heinze and was a guest at their end-of-season title party in a London club.

Days later, Tevez scored at Old Trafford on the final day of the season to give West Ham the 1-0 win that kept them in the Premiership, but his controversial transfer has been the subject of a Premier League investigation, which was concluded on Tuesday.

United were hoping to keep the confirmation of the transfer quiet until the furore died down and the deal will not be officially declared until the middle of next week. The official transfer fee — and wages — are still to be confirmed.

United have already signed

Portuguese winger Nani and Brazilian midfielder Anderson on expensive five-year contracts.

The pair join the Premier League champions from Sporting Lisbon and Porto respectively, while England midfielder Owen Hargreaves completed his move from Bayern Munich. The total cost of those deals is £50m.

United have also made Polish keeper Tomasz Kuszczak a full signing after he played last

season on loan from second

division West Bromwich.

With multi-million pound backing from their American investors, United have been flexing their financial muscle, but the signing of Tevez is their most ambitious.

The little striker has told friends that he is "very excited" about his future, though he has refused to confirm his next

destination. Tevez has also been linked with Inter Milan and

Arsenal, although West Ham had been hoping to keep him.

Tevez told Sportsmail in an exclusive interview last season: "If I can play at West Ham in such a difficult position, then it's easier to play for a bigger club, with players such as Rooney, Ronaldo or Drogba.

"I would be capable of playing at any English team, because the English game is no longer a problem for me." He then went on to save West Ham,

following his controversial "loan" move from Corinthians, a club he joined in a South American transfer record of $22m.

As well as being fined for turning up in an official press conference wearing a United shirt, he was also punished for turning up for a game in Bermuda shorts — and for fighting with team-mates.

Then the goals started and he was branded a hero. The fans copied his braided hair cut, followed his celebration dance craze and bought the replica shirts.

It was claimed that 4,000 were sold at every home game. He was elected captain by his team-mates and he would lead out his team with his baby daughter, Florencia, in his arms, producing a dummy from his sock when he scored a goal.

Then, when a website opened in his name, it broke the previous record held by Ronaldinho by 4,000 hits.

Tevez received 16,000 hits and the local newspapers called it "the birth of Tevezmania". It sounds like a marketing dream for Manchester United.

West Ham last night confirmed the free transfer signing of former England goalkeeper Richard Wright, who left Everton at the end of last season.

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