Shanghai Shenhua has shut down transfer rumors suggesting that Carlos Tevez will leave behind his Chinese club for a Liga MX side in 2018.
Talk circulated that the Argentine striker, 33, was on his way to Liga MX, with multiple Mexican teams reported to have interest.
However, Tevez’s club Shanghai Shenhua has released a statement denying the validity of those rumors and expecting him to report to the club’s preseason training in Spain.
"We will head for Spain for a month long preseason training at Marbella on Tuesday morning and all of our foreign players will be there," Shanghai Shenhua team manager Mao Yijun told Shanghai Morning Post.
"We will bring 29 Chinese players [to Marbella] this time. With all the foreign players on board, it will be a 34-man squad."
It is the second time in just over a week Tevez’s exit from the club has been denied.
Boca Juniors, Tevez’s former club, has been a long-rumored destination for the striker, but released a statement December 18 denying they were in talks to sign him, or that there was any option for Tevez to get out of his contract before it expires in 2018.
Some reports had stated Tevez had a clause which allowed him to return to Boca Juniors.
The latest rumors linked him three Liga MX teams: 2017 Apertura champions Tigres, America and Pumas. With Tigres, Tevez would have linked up with a powerful attack that features Andre-Pierre Gignac, Eduardo Vargas and Enner Valencia.
However, Goal understands that Tevez has been granted permission to join Shanghai on Jan. 4, a change from last week when he expected on Dec. 26. He will meet the team in Spain, flying directly from Argentina.
Tevez moved to the Chinese club from Boca at the start 2017 as one of the league’s high-profile signings, inking a massive two-year deal that was reportedly worth over £30 million per year.
However, he failed to live up to his price tag in year one, playing in just 16 games and scoring four times as Shanghai endured a disappointing campaign.
A calf injury sidelined him for part of the season, but Shanghai coach Wu Jingui also refused to play him late in the year, calling him out of shape after his injury.
Tevez also attracted a huge deal of criticism from Shanghau Shenhua fans after it emerged on social media that he went to Disneyland while injured.
That has spurred talk Tevez would not be around for the second and final year of his contract, but so far the striker remains on the Chinese club’s books.
Shanghai’s season kicks off on February 14 when they face Japanese side Kashima Antlers in the AFC Champions League.