Don't get me wrong, Carlos Tevez, and for that matter Javier Mascherano, are world-class players. They would easily command positions in the Arsenal starting XI, especially as I rate Mascherano above Gilberto; they would improve our squad and help us win trophies. Tevez has shown not just bags of playing talent, but also considerable emotional strength in his time in England so far. Few players would have had the self-belief to keep slogging away every week for a relegation threatened team, just months after a world cup in which you had prominently starred; even fewer would have been done so when their very presence at the club could, and perhaps should, have led to a points deduction.
The reward for his efforts was 7 goals in his last ten matches; goals that complemented the superb all-round contribution he brought to West Ham last season; goals that kept West Ham in the Premier League.
But no matter how good he is, as long as Kia Joorabchian watches over him, I don't want Arsenal to get involved. Reading this article shows just how much West Ham have got away this year.
The question refuses to go away: is Tevez their player? Whilst he is registered as a West Ham player, do the club 'own' him? Because it would still appear that Joorabchian owns the players' economic rights - in other words, illegal, third-party control of the player.
Indeed, any potential transfer would be fraught with a rather simple difficulty: who do you pay? Any purchaser would have to pay West Ham for the Premier League to be satisfied, yet the club don't actually own the player! If West Ham were then to compensate Joorabchian, would this be tantamount to admitting their guilt?
What seems likely to happen is that Tevez will go on 'loan' to United for two seasons or more; a 'loan' which would involved United paying several million pounds to Joorabchian. At the end of this 'loan', all the interested parties would hope that the problems pertaining to the players registration would have been forgotten. Tevez can be swept under the Old Trafford carpet, as it were. This seems to be the case regarding Javier Mascherano. Everyone would be happy; well, aside from those clubs who'd been negatively affected by illegally registered players. Which would be most of the league.
This article is not meant as an affront to the fans of West Ham or United, but it is a disgrace that this matter has still not been resolved, even if it is still more of a disgrace that the relevant parties - the FA, the Premier League - allowed Tevez and Mascherano's original 'transfer' to take place.
It seems likely that Tevez will be running out as an Old Trafford player at the beginning of next season, as part of a formidable United attacking line-up. But it seems the key to obtaining Tevez as a player has been to break and bend the rules wherever and whenever possible. One hopes that Mascherano and Tevez will finally be fully owned by a club in the near future, and that transfers of this type, ones with heavy third-party ownership and influence, are not allowed to transpire again.
Taking the moral and legal high-ground is not always conducive to success. That's pretty obvious in most walks of life. Yet, whilst I'd love to see players of Tevez's calibre run out for our club, in this matter, I'd rather Arsenal kept their distance.