Ferguson promises Tevez surprise welcome
Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Carlos Tevez he is in for a nasty surprise if he thinks a good reception awaits him at Manchester United on Sunday.
Tevez spent two years with the Old Trafford outfit, during which time they won the Premier League title in successive seasons and reached two Champions League finals.
Yet the split came in acrimonious circumstances this summer.
Tevez accused Ferguson of disrespect, while the United boss continues to claim the South American had decided to leave the Red Devils long before the campaign reached its conclusion.
Providing he overcomes a knee injury, the former West Ham star returns to Old Trafford as a City player for the first time this weekend, hoping to receive a warm reception from the home supporters.
The mere thought brings a smile to Ferguson's face.
"He will get a surprise,'' said Ferguson.
"It is a different culture nowadays. It is very emotional.''
Any goodwill for Tevez amongst the United faithful has disappeared after he became the central figure in a poster, erected at the end of Manchester's busy Deansgate shopping centre that declared: "Welcome to Manchester.''
It played on City's claim to be the city's true club, given United's precise location is in the neighbouring borough of Trafford.
Ferguson felt it was a deliberate attempt to provoke United. And it seems to have worked.
"I'm sure of it,'' he said.
"That stupid poster upset us. It showed an arrogance. It was naughty. It showed a cockiness that wasn't required at the time because they hadn't done anything.
"The season hadn't even started.''
Ferguson is not convinced Mark Hughes even knew of its existence until the United camp started to make their displeasure known, which placed the Welshman in a difficult position.
"It probably came to his attention when I mentioned it,'' said the United chief.
"Some people run away with themselves. That put Mark in a position where he was being asked about it.
"He tried to brush it off. He said it was just 'a wee bit of devilment'. I think it was a wee bit of arrogance.''
The row could easily have been avoided if only United had been a bit quicker coughing up the £24million required to turn Tevez's 'lease' arrangement with Kia Joorabchian into a permanent deal.
Quite apart from whether Tevez was worth the money, Ferguson is convinced there was no chance of such a move being satisfactory to either the player or Joorabchian.
"We made an offer that was well in the compass of the player's ability,'' he said.
"When I read now that it is not £24million, it is £47million, there is no way we could even think about that.
"I thought £24 was the figure. Obviously it wasn't. They had obviously agreed it long before the end of the season.
"That goes without saying because they never came back to us.''