United smash British transfer record to keep £32m Tevez Mark Ogden in Pretoria The Guardian, Saturday July 26 2008 Manchester United have agreed in principle to pay a British record £32m to complete the permanent signing of Carlos Tevez. The Argentinian forward is currently halfway through a two-year loan agreement at Old Trafford having left West Ham last August to sign for United. As part of the original transfer deal United had agreed to sign the 24-year-old permanently in the summer of 2009. However, after an impressive first season at the club, which saw Tevez score 19 goals in 39 appearances as United won the Premier League and European Cup, the club have now struck an agreement with Media Sports Investment, the company that owns the player's registration, to secure his services on a full-time basis. United's chief executive, David Gill, said this week that completing a permanent deal for Tevez was a priority for the manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. "We have spoken to Carlos Tevez and see him as part of our long-term squad. We have been pleased with his first season. He is a good age, a great player and well liked within the team. We know what we have to do and what we have to pay next summer." By paying £32m to complete a deal for Tevez, 24, United will outstrip the £30m paid by Chelsea for the Ukrainian forward Andriy Shevchenko two years ago, meaning United have completed three of the top six deals involving British clubs, taking into account the purchases of Rio Ferdinand and Juan Sebastián Verón. Tevez joined United after an agreement was struck between the player's former club and his management company MSI, that saw the London club receive £2m in compensation following a protracted and messy row about the player's ownership. When the dispute was finally settled, United agreed to pay MSI around £10m for a two-year loan deal with the option to buy. It is unclear how much of that amount will be soaked up in the £32m fee. In light of the uncertainty over Cristiano Ronaldo's long-term future at Old Trafford, his presence, along with that of Wayne Rooney, is considered key if the club are to build on their recent successes.