CARLOS Tevez insists that he would stay in Shanghai despite Boca Juniors’ buy-back attempt, claiming that his family is enjoying life in the thriving city.
Shanghai Greenland Shenhua’s Argentina striker picked up a calf injury which is likely to keep him out of competition for about a month. “I suffered a calf strain and I have been told that it would take one month (to heal),” Tevez told reporters at the Chinese Super League club’s training base yesterday. “As a professional, I will try to recover quickly and return as fast as possible.”
Tevez made an impressive CSL debut, scoring a penalty and adding two assists in Shenhua’s 4-0 victory over Jiangsu Suning in the first round. However, the 33-year-old struggled for form in the next three league matches before skipping the club’s fifth-round match away to Changchun Yatai last week due to the injury.
“I haven’t completely adapted myself to the new environment yet,” Tevez said when asked about his position in the team. “I need more matches and more time to get used to the environment slowly.”
Tevez said his family members have been in Shanghai for two months and are enjoying the new city. “The main problem is me. I need to adapt to the team better, as well as to the CSL. I hope my performance will prove everything.”
Tevez and his family were seen at Shanghai’s Disneyland Resort last Saturday when Shenhua was in Jilin for its CSL match against Changchun, sparking online ire. “I took my family to Disneyland last week, which led to some discussion. I want to say that I went there after finishing my training that day. I am a normal person, and want to spend some time with my family in my spare time. I respect my club and teammates, and work hard in training,” the ex-Manchester City striker said, drawing support from the club.
Reacting to an ESPN report that Boca president Daniel Angelici would be traveling to China in August to negotiate a buyback for its former star player, Tevez said: “It’s normal for him, as Boca Juniors president, to have such thinking and want me back. But as I said, me and my family like the city. We will stay here.”
Tevez joined Shenhua last December on a two-year contract, making him the highest earning footballer in the world, though no financial details of the deal were released. According to the contract, he could leave Shenhua if he doesn’t feel like playing in the CSL after the first season, but would have to pay two-third of his transfer fee as compensation.
Under coach Gus Poyet, Shenhua is now 9th in the 16-team standing — on 7 points from 5 matches. The team is eyeing a top-three finish which will see it qualify for next year’s AFC Champions League. It was eliminated from this year’s Asian competition early after losing 0-2 to Brisbane Roar in the one-match qualifier.