Ferguson regrets losing Carlos Tevez and talks about Ferdinand’s career
Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Manchester United could have signed Carlos Tevez on a permanent deal had the club acted quicker. The Scotsman stated in an interview to the BBC Radio 5 that the “big game player”, who spent two years on loan at Old Trafford from 2007 to 2009, could have donned United’s red jersey permanently.
However, the Argentine was picked up by arch rivals Manchester City soon after the season ended. Tevez, who just recently returned to the Eastlands won a Champions League title with United during that period.
Tevez’s career has been struck by one problem after another ever since he arrived at Manchester City. After a falling out with manager Roberto Mancini, Tevez has failed to feature for the Blues. Now Ferguson, has revealed that he would have signed Tevez if he had the chance to do so.
“He is a man for a big game Carlos Tevez, there’s no question about that. He’s a big game player and he did well in his season with West Ham, and it was an easy solution because he was loaned to us and we paid the loan fee for that two years and then we had the option to buy him.
“But by the time the option came round, we were maybe a bit slow of course, but his agent was everywhere with him. And the money we were quoted was not what he eventually went for, it was a lot, lot more.
“A deal could’ve been done if we’d acted earlier on, but I was just a bit hesitant about it, I wasn’t quite sure.”
Ferguson also talked about Rio Ferdinand and how his career had evolved with Manchester United. Ferguson stated that he originally tried to sign him from West Ham United when he was just 17 years old but then later acquired him in 2002 from Leeds Untied for £30 million.
“We tried to get him when he was 17, so I feel I’ve been tracking him all his life," Sir Alex continued.
“Their [West Ham] trainer was a guy called Brown at the time, and we phoned him to buy Rio at 17, he said we’ll do a part exchange with Beckham.”
Ferguson further stated that Rio has prominent role in the club. The Scotsman informed that Ferdinand was also performing a mentoring role for youngster at the club. Ferguson admitted that Ferdinand had struggled with injuries over the last couple of seasons which had forced the 33-year-old defender to adapt under circumstances.
“It’s hard for Rio to have so much speed and agility, then he gets to 33 and he’s lost a bit. Maybe 10-15 per cent of it, so he’s had to change his game. He used to gamble, Rio, when a guy was slipping away from him he’d [sprint back] because he could [go into] overdrive. He can’t do that now.
“I spoke to him about it, I said ‘look, you’re not the same player you were five years ago, you cannot expect to be and you’ve had the back injuries’. You have to take care of that, he does the yoga now which is good. So just adjust your game, step back a yard.
“You don’t need to be there on top of him [a striker] knowing your pace is going to get you out – that’s not always going to get you out. He can maybe read the situation better now – he’s doing great, better than he ever did.”