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11th Feb 2022

Wayne Rooney on the player he was ‘devastated’ to see leave Man United

Robert Redmond

wayne rooney carlos tevez

“I was devastated.”

Wayne Rooney has said that he was devasted when Manchester United did not sign Carlos Tevez on a permanent deal in 2009.

Tevez and Rooney were teammates for two years at Old Trafford, during which time the club won two Premier League titles and the Champions League.

The Argentine was on a two-year loan deal at Man United, with the option to sign him on a permanent deal. Man City instead signed the player and Rooney was ‘devastated’ by his departure, which came in the same summer that Cristiano Ronaldo left for Real Madrid.

The former England captain also said that Tevez was his favourite footballer to play alongside.

Wayne Rooney: I was devastated when Man United didn’t buy Carlos Tevez.

“[It was] devastating. I enjoyed playing with him that much,” Rooney told the SportBible when asked about Tevez.

“I knew something was going on because there was the issue with his ownership in terms of whether it was the club or an agent.

“It was actually very cheap to buy him and for whatever reason, we didn’t buy him. I think Man City got him for about £20m, which is incredible really.

“You saw what a great player he was when he went there. I was devastated.”

Rooney: Tevez was my favourite footballer to play alongside.

When Man United signed Tevez in 2007, there were questions about how he and Rooney would co-exist in the starting team. Both were considered to have similar attributes, and neither was a traditional number centre forward who would lead the line.

Rooney, however, has said their similarities are what them such an effective combination and it is why Tevez was his favourite footballer to play alongside.

“I just loved our connection, the two of us upfront, we complimented each other really well,” the current Derby County manager said.

“Normally, if I played with Louis Saha, Ruud van Nistelrooy or Robin van Persie. These strikers were always the number 9 and I’d play as a number 10.

“With Tevez, we could rotate. I’d be the number 9, he’d take the number 9 spot and I’d be number 10. When we lost the ball we’d be like two bulls trying to get it back.

“As a strike partner, he was the one I enjoyed playing with the most.”

The Argentine scored 34 goals in 99 games for the Red Devils and was popular with United supporters before he joined Man City.

Alex Ferguson on why he didn’t sign Carlos Tevez.

In Alex Ferguson’s second autobiography, he writes that Man United offered £25m to permanently sign the forward. (The player’s ‘economic rights’ were owned by a third party).

Ferguson, however, believes that Tevez’s representatives ‘played’ rival Premier League teams against each other.

The Scot heard that Chelsea offered £35m for Tevez, and Man City’s offer was rumoured to be worth £47m. The former Man United manager said he was not willing to match these unconfirmed transfer fees.

“I wouldn’t have paid that kind of money, fine player though he was,” Ferguson says, before admitting his ‘mistake’ was in delaying the offer for Tevez.

The Scot was happy with Tevez’s performances in his debut season for the club, where he scored 19 goals in 48 games and helped the club win the Premier League and the Champions League.

Ferguson also notes that he was so impressed by the forward’s work rate, he kept him on the pitch and substituted Rooney instead in the European Cup final in Moscow.

However, he said the Argentine was ‘not a great trainer’ and ultimately, he delayed making a decision on whether to try to sign the striker.

While Ferguson also found it hard to fit Rooney, Tevez, Ronaldo and Dimitar Berbatov into the same XI.

After Man United lost to Barcelona in the 2011 Champions League final, Ferguson writes that Tevez told him: “You never showed any great desire to sign me permanently.”

Ferguson explained that he wanted to see how the season played out and that he felt the forward had not featured in enough games during the season.

However, Tevez joined Man City two months later and helped the club win the FA Cup and the Premier League.

He left for Juventus in 2013 and had spells with his boyhood club Boca Juniors and Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua before retiring last year.

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