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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tevez going to Man City on five-year deal

MANCHESTER, England (AP) Carlos Tevez agreed to join Manchester City on a five-year deal Monday, further enhancing the wealthy Premier League club's bid to join England's and Europe's elite.

News photo
Moving across town: Striker Carlos Tevez, who played for Manchester United the last two seasons, has agreed to a five-year contract with Manchester City. AP PHOTO

The 25-year-old Argentina striker will complete his switch across Manchester from the more-illustrious United, where he had previously played on loan, after a medical examination.

City will have to pay $41 million to sign Tevez from the group that owned his economic rights.

Despite last winning a league title in 1968, City is gradually becoming an attractive destination for top players since being bought last September by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family.

City finished 10th in the Premier League last season, missing out on European competition by three points.

Tevez will link up in attack with Brazil's Robinho, who joined for a British-record fee $61.7 million last September, and Roque Santa Cruz, who joined last month from Blackburn.

"It is terrific news," City manager Mark Hughes told the club's Web site. "He is not only outstanding technically but he is a reliable goal scorer and someone who will contribute fully to the team ethic. He gives us another exciting, attacking dimension."

Tevez left United last month after his two-year loan deal expired with the English champion and he rebuffed United's interest in signing him on a permanent deal. Tevez said he felt manager Alex Ferguson had shown him a lack of respect by not playing him often enough.

Earlier Monday, Ferguson said Tevez had ignored his phone calls and text messages as he tried to persuade the striker to stay at Old Trafford.

"I half expected Carlos Tevez would be going a long time back," Ferguson said in his first public comments since Tevez rejected United last month. "I think he maybe did a deal around January because I spoke to him and gave him an offer on the night we played Inter Milan (in March) and he never came back to me.

"I phoned him on holiday and he never got back to me and I texted him twice and he never got back to me then either, so obviously he had made his mind up a long time ago. He was a good player and did well for us. But he obviously assessed the situation and wanted to go somewhere else."

Also Monday, Ferguson said that Manchester United won't be signing any more players this offseason because of inflated transfer fees — like the world record $131 million for world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo from Madrid.

"I am not going to be stupid," Ferguson said.

Burying the hatchet

CARSON , Calif. (AP) David Beckham has resolved his issues with Landon Donovan, saying he recently had a good conversation with his Los Angeles Galaxy teammate.

Beckham practiced with the Galaxy on Monday for the first time since returning from a five-month loan to Italian club AC Milan. Since his arrival back in Southern California, he has been peppered with questions about Donovan calling him a bad captain and portraying the English star as stingy in an upcoming book.

Beckham said details of their meeting will remain private but it went very well.

"I'm not going to talk about what was said," Beckham said. "That was between me, Landon and the manager (Bruce Arena). I said the other day everything that was needed to say."

Saturday at an MLS event, Beckham called Donovan's behavior "unprofessional."

Beckham will play his first game of the season with the Galaxy when they face the Red Bulls at Giants Stadium on Thursday. The Galaxy host AC Milan on Sunday.

"We're getting past it, we're moving on," Donovan said. "There's a lot of things I regret. I regret the way that I went about this process and I also regret some of the things I said."

Donovan said he knew what he was getting into when he talked to Sports Illustrated senior writer Grant Wahl, the author of "The Beckham Experiment."

"There were no surprises," he said. "I'm generally a pretty honest person, but that doesn't mean I need to share things with everybody."

The Galaxy has won three straight to improve to 5-3-9 heading into the matchup with the Red Bulls, and they're hoping Beckham's return will help them continue their strong run.

Midfielder Chris Klein said Beckham and Donovan interacted just fine at practice.

"I don't know if it's buried or not, but for them to carry any of that is silly," he said.

Beckham said his discussions with Milan on returning to the team in 2010 will be resolved in the next couple of months.

"Obviously Milan expressed that they want me to go back so I don't see any reason why that would change," he said. "We'll have to wait and see. I hope to be going back there."

Iraq victorious

BAGHDAD (AP) Iraq played its first game in Baghdad since before the invasion, beating Palestine 4-0 on Monday and triggering wild celebrations among Iraqis unable to watch their national sports teams during years of war.

Hawar Mulah Mohammed scored in the 27th minute of the exhibition, Karar Jassim and Alaa Abdul-Zahraa followed and Emad Mohammed scored the fourth on a penalty for the Asian champions.

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