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By ESPN Staff
Aug 14, 2007

Tevez: Lure of Old Trafford was too strong

Carlos Tevez never thought about quitting football as controversy surrounding his relationship with long-time 'adviser' Kia Joorabchian rumbled on - and has admitted the lure of playing for the Premier League champions was impossible to resist.

Tevez is expected to make his Manchester United debut at Portsmouth tomorrow, after finally being allowed to complete his move to Old Trafford.

After finding himself at the centre of a major Premier League inquiry, and then a High Court appeal by Sheffield United over the 'third-party' ownership by Joorabchian, the 23-year-old was then blocked from leaving West Ham until a suitable settlement package had been agreed.

Even though he was thousands of miles away as the arguments raged on, helping Argentina to the Copa America final in Venezuela, Tevez could not avoid the row.

But at no stage did the former Corinthians star think the wrangle was not worth the hassle.

'It is impossible not to know what was going on during the summer,' he said. 'I started to realise - because each game passed in the Copa America and still the matter was not resolved.

'But I never felt I would be forced out of the game. It hurt me to leave West Ham anyway, but the lure of Manchester United was just too much.'

Tevez will get his chance to prove he is worth the wait far sooner than he might have expected, after Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed Wayne Rooney is likely to be out for at least two months because of the broken foot he suffered against Reading on Sunday.

Rooney will miss eight Premier League games - plus the Red Devils' opening two matches in the Champions League group phase, plus England's vital Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Russia - after being accidentally trodden on by Michael Duberry.

'We are putting it at two months,' said Ferguson, of Rooney's recovery time. 'He will be training by that time, but then there is a level of fitness to achieve. At this time, we have no target for when he starts playing.

'It is a bad blow for both us and England. I spoke to (England coach) Steve McClaren in Sunday night and I could sense his disappointment.

'But England should cope without Wayne against Israel and Russia - and I would expect him to be back for the games in October.'

While McClaren must now hunt the country looking for alternatives, Ferguson accepts that - with Louis Saha and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer currently out - he has little alternative other than to pitch Tevez in slightly earlier than he had wanted.

'Carlos will start on Wednesday,' he revealed. 'Ideally, I would have preferred to wait for the Manchester City game on Sunday - which would have given him a few more days' training.

'But for the forthcoming few weeks, he will fill the position Wayne would have occupied.'

Rooney's boot manufacturers Nike, meanwhile, insist the design of their boots had 'nothing to do with' his setback.

It has been suggested that modern boot design puts players at greater risk of foot injuries, but Charlie Brooks, head of corporate communications for Nike UK, told Channel 4 News that the boot that Wayne had been testing was not to blame.

He said: 'He himself is personally absolutely confident, as we are, that the boot had nothing to do with his injury.

'I think what happened to Wayne is an unfortunate football injury.'