Chelsea and Manchester City have joined the battle for Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez. The Times says United are in negotiations to sign Tévez on a permanent basis once their two-year lease arrangement expires in June, but progress has been awkward, with Kia Joorabchian, head of the companies that own the player's economic rights, maintaining that they must pay a fee of £22 million in addition to the down payments of about £10 million that have already been made and a salary well in excess of £100,000 a week.

Other clubs have been alerted to the impasse and while Real Madrid's interest is well known, Chelsea and City have also made clear their desire to be kept informed of developments.