August 03, 2007

West Ham United has reached a $4 million settlement with Carlos Tevez's representatives that will allow the Argentina striker to leave the club, West Ham announced on Friday.

The deal paves the way for Tevez to join Premier League champion Manchester United and ends a long transfer saga which centred on who owned the striker.

West Ham holds his registration but his agent Kia Joorabchian said he and his companies owned his economic rights. On July 24, Joorabchian's firms served a High Court writ on West Ham to try and resolve the matter.

"The settlement ends the current litigation taking place between the respective parties and provides for a $2 million fee to be paid to West Ham United," the club said on its Web site.

"The agreement confirms that West Ham United do have a valid player's contract with Carlos Tevez and hold the registration of the player. This will be released once the agreed fee has been paid to the club."

The Premier League cleared the settlement. "This will lead to the cancellation of Tevez's registration, thereby releasing him to join another club in due course," it said in a statement.

West Ham chairman Eggert Magnusson said: "I am obviously pleased that we have finally reached the end of this saga through agreement and common sense.

"I wish Carlos Tevez well for the next stage of his playing career. He is a fine player and I am sure he will be successful wherever he plays football."

The settlement was welcomed by Manchester United's Web site with the comment: "Reds transfer target Carlos Tevez has been given the all-clear to join United."

Tevez made an impact at Old Trafford on the final day of last season, scoring the winner as West Ham beat United 1-0.

Off the pitch, the 23-year-old striker's contract with West Ham has long been a source of controversy.

The east London club avoided a points deduction but was fined $11 million in April for breaking Premier League rules which outlaw third-party ownership when it signed Tevez last August.

West Ham was only allowed to continue playing him after satisfying the Premier League that the third-party agreement with Joorabchian had been torn up.

Tevez and his contract also played a key role in last season's battles against relegation. His six goals in the closing nine games of the season proved decisive as West Ham avoided the drop.

Sheffield United, which was relegated, argued the Hammers should have been docked points -- which would have kept the Yorkshire club up -- over the Tevez contract affair.

The Blades took their case to arbitration, only to have the original fine upheld by a tribunal.

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