Tevez expressed his desire to leave the club after a bust-up with manager Roberto Mancini during the Champions League game against Bayern Munich last season.
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"If the transfer was not sorted out, it was not because he didn't want to come, but because we didn't accept his wage demands," Al-Khelaifi told Germany's Sportbild.
"He wanted to come. We don't pay too big wages to our players. Last winter Carlos Tevez asked too much and didn't match the club's philosophy. So we refused."
Meanwhile, Al-Khelafi has defended the amount the clubs spends on wages, after Bayern Munich chief-executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said that the wages being paid to Ibrahimovic gave him a 'stomach ache'.
"If Karl Heinze Rummenigge is sick with the wages we offer, he should go and meet a doctor," Al-Khelaifi added.
"We take big care of our expenses. For example, Thiago Silva does not earn one more cent than what he earned at AC Milan. To me, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the best forward in the world."