Mark Hughes, the City manager, continues to draw confidence from his ambitious pursuit for Terry and an approach for Adebayor yesterday met immediate encouragement from Arsenal, who have indicated that the unsettled Togo forward is available at the right price.
Arsenal have indicated to City that they are willing to sell Adebayor for a fee in the region of £25million, with Arsène Wenger having identified Marouane Chamakh, the Bordeaux and Morocco forward, as the leading candidate to replace him. Adebayor's preference had been to move to Italy, but, with AC Milan's interest waning, the 25-year-old is believed to be tempted by the prospect of joining City, who are willing to increase his wages from £80,000 a week to a figure that may reach £170,000 once signing-on fees and potential bonuses are taken into account.
Last night, though, the only name on City supporters' lips was Tévez, with the club announcing that a five-year contract, worth approximately £140,000 a week, has been agreed with the forward and, significantly, “the deal has been ratified by the Premier League and the FA”.
That means that City have effectively bought Tévez's registration from Kia Joorabchian and the investment companies that own the player's “economic rights” - unlike United, who had him on a two-year loan - with a fee in the region of £25.5million also likely to have changed hands.
By the time the Tévez deal was announced, subject to a medical examination, it had been widely expected, but the signing of the Argentina forward eclipses last summer's £34.2million deal for Robinho as City's most symbolic under the ownership of the fabulously rich Sheikh Mansour.
Even Garry Cook, City's relentlessly optimistic chief executive, questioned whether Tévez was a realistic target when the possibility was raised by third parties in January. But, even if money was the decisive factor, the club believe that they also succeeded in making the player, who had grown disillusioned with Sir Alex Ferguson's rotation policy at United, feel wanted.
“It is terrific news,” Hughes said last night. “Carlos is an international player of the highest class who possesses all the attributes that will help drive this club forward. He is not only outstanding technically, but he's a reliable goalscorer and someone who will contribute fully to the team ethic. He gives us another exciting, attacking dimension. I cannot wait to welcome him to City.
“It's yet another deal that shows the commitment of Sheikh Mansour to make this club the very best it can be. I am sure our fans will give Carlos an exceptionally warm welcome.”
It is unlikely that such warmth will extend across the city, with Ferguson disappointed by the manner of Tévez's departure from Old Trafford and by his continued claims that he was let down by United. “I half-expected that a long time back,” the United manager said yesterday. “Maybe they did a deal around January because I spoke to him and gave him an offer on the night of the Inter Milan game [in March] and he never came back to me. I phoned him on holiday and he never came back to me. I texted him twice and he never got back. Obviously, he had made his mind up.
“He was a good player for us. He had two years to assess us, but he wanted to go somewhere else. We wish him well.”
Tévez is expected to join his City team-mates on their pre-season tour to South Africa over the next week, along with Gareth Barry and Roque Santa Cruz. Doubts persist about the future of Elano, the Brazil midfield player, who is wanted on loan by Zaragoza, the Spanish club.
Red and blue: money talks
When Manchester City flexed their financial muscle in 1906 it was United who benefited. The FA forced City to sell their squad at an auction after discovering they had paid their players more than the £4 maximum wage. United bought four players and won the title in 1908.
Dough was also on the mind of Wyn Davies, the striker who swapped blue for red in 1972. The move backfired and he later became a baker in Bolton.
Andrew Cole had a six-year spell at United and a year at City. “Where do you go if you leave United?” he said. “The only way is down.”
Words by Tom Dart