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The mystery of Tevez contract

india Updated: Jul 10, 2007 23:27 IST

Agencies
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So who 'does' own Carlos Tevez?

While Manchester United bid to push through a deal to hire the talented Argentina striker, it's far from clear if the Red Devils are negotiating with the right people.

According to the Premier League, his registration is held by West Ham. Kia Joorabchian, an Anglo-Iranian businessman who set up Tevez's move to the Hammers from Brazilian club Corinthians, believes he still holds the contract.

While this sounds like a nitpicking piece of soccer business, it's a major headache for the parties involved, and it could have far reaching consequences in the English game.

The fact that Tevez's contract was owned by a third party led to a huge fine for West Ham for breaking Premier League rules. Their relegation rivals were furious, however, that the Hammers weren't docked points and, when they survived on the last day of the season with Tevez scoring the goal that kept them up, there was outrage, especially from the team that went down instead.

Sheffield United are taking the legal battle to the High Court while the Tevez contract tangle remains unresolved.

Manchester United do not yet know for sure whether the striker will be lining up at Old Trafford next season and doesn't want to take any chances.