Brazilian giants Corinthians have offered €40 million to re-sign Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez. ESPNsoccernet understands that the player would accept a return and that his advisers expect City to agree the deal.
City have set a price of £50 million for Tevez, and the first officially-tabled bid falls well short of that valuation. It might prove that Corinthians are a stalking horse to flush out bigger and better bids but Tevez's advisers still expect City to OK the move back to South America.
Corinthians' director of football, Duilio Monteiro Alves, confirmed that contact had been made with Tevez's representatives and the club would utilise its vast resources to land the player. Alves told Lancenet: "I don't want to get our fans' hopes up. We'll try. That's all I can say.
"[Signing Tevez] isn't impossible. It's a dream we're trying to realise. He is interested in returning, everybody knows that. He has said several times he would play for Corinthians or Boca Juniors again.
"With that interest on his part, we are interested in his coming. For that to come true, it is distant. But we are going after him and we have initiated talks."
ESPNsoccernet's source said the bid from Brazil might open up offers from other clubs, Juventus, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, and perhaps even Chelsea, all clubs who City would now consider rivals, now that they are in the Champions League.
"City might find it hard to turn down this offer," said the source. "And they will know they won't get a much bigger offer from anywhere in South America. Corinthians are serious about this.
"They mean business, they have the funds, they have a €55 million TV deal, a €26 million sponsorship deal, which is the fourth largest in the world, and they are building a new stadium which will open in 2013 holding 68,000, which will stage the opening ceremony for the World Cup."
Tevez was club captain before he quit in 2006 to join West Ham United along with Javier Mascherano, and he became the first foreign player in Brazil to win footballer of the year since 1976.
The striker wants to leave City after two years at Eastlands and has cited family reasons, saying last week that he wants to be closer to his two children and their mother who live back in Argentina. A move to Corinthians fulfills that objective. However, City may want to hold out for their price having invested £47 million in transfer fees to bring him to Eastlands in the first place.
The offer from Sao Paulo club Corinthians may interest City because it would mean Tevez joining a team who are not their rivals in any competition, and he would be rejoining the club he played for from 2004 to 2006, having joined from Boca Juniors.
Until Corinthians made their interest known to City, Tevez looked headed for Spain or Italy, at potential Champions League rivals, and with a loan move looking most likely.