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By ESPN Staff

Hammers stay could tempt terrific Tevez

Carlos Tevez insists there is still a chance he could be a West Ham player next season.

The Argentina striker is at the centre of an eligibility storm which has seen West Ham fined a record £5.5million and their relegation rivals threatening legal action.

But as the Hammers attempt to thrash out a new contractual arrangement for the player, Tevez revealed his future could still be at Upton Park.

'There is a possibility I could stay. It is a case of sitting down with the directors of West Ham to sort out a few things but certainly there is a chance I could stay with the club,' he said.

'The decision, though, will not rest with the player but his part-owner Kia Joorabchian, with whom West Ham are currently in talks.

West Ham had to terminate elements of their original four-year contract with Tevez after being found guilty of agreeing to clauses which allowed a third party - Joorabchian - direct influence over the club.

By satisfying the Premier League those clauses are no longer in place, Tevez was free to play in last weekend's vital 3-0 win over relegation rivals Wigan and for the remainder of the season.

But for Tevez to stay at Upton Park next year the Hammers would either have to buy him outright from Joorabchian for around £20million or agree a loan deal similar to that which Liverpool have for Javier Mascherano.

Manager Alan Curbishley has refused to publicly confirm whether or not he would like to keep Tevez next season.

The West Ham supporters certainly would. Tevez's form over the second half of the season breathed new life into the club's battle for survival and the fans voted him Hammer of the Year.

Any agreement would be dependant on West Ham surviving a fierce relegation battle and staying in the Barclays Premiership - and that is where Tevez's focus is.

West Ham must beat Bolton at Upton Park on Saturday if they are to stand any realistic hope of dragging themselves out of the relegation zone.

Tevez told WHUTV: 'The fine and everything surrounding it is something for West Ham and the lawyers to take care of. My only concern, as always, is playing football.

'It was a very good victory (over Wigan) particularly in terms of our relegation battle. If we had lost, it would have left us virtually relegated so we are all very pleased with the result.

'We will be doing everything we can to keep this club in the Premier League and for me it is an opportunity to repay the support the fans have shown me.

'They have supported me from day one and I have a very special relationship with them.'