Star duo not using Hammers as a stepping stone

September 6, 2006

Argentina internationals Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano insist they are not using West Ham as a way of earning a big-money move at the end of this season.

Hammers boss Alan Pardew pulled off one of the biggest transfer coups the English game has seen in landing the World Cup stars.

Although Tevez and Mascherano both signed four-year contracts it is widely thought Pardew will struggle to hold onto the pair come next summer.

Reports suggest the contracts contain get-out clauses, inserted by the players' manager Kia Joorabchian, who would stand to profit from their sale.

But Tevez insists his priority this season is to not to catch the eye of Manchester United or Chelsea, but to impress Pardew.

'If I did have a good season I would obviously want to look to extend my stay as any player at Chelsea or Arsenal would like to do,' said Tevez.

'If an offer from another club came in I would have to look at that, but first and foremost my priority will be to look to extend my stay at West Ham.'

Mascherano echoed his compatriot's feelings and revealed they moved to Upton Park because West Ham showed the desire to sign the pair.

'There were other offers in the pipeline that didn't come to fruition. The best things that came out of it was we found out how loved we were by West Ham and how wanted we were,' said the midfielder.

'As a footballer you have to look at how much a team wants you to be there and make a decision. That is what we did.

'Coming from South America or from Argentina it was a boyhood dream to play in England. The future plans of West Ham, and the fact they made us a firm offer, is very encouraging.

'We have signed permanent contracts and the rest of the details will be sorted out by the people who do those things.

'What I do know is, as Carlos said, we would look to extend our stay. We are not looking to use West Ham in any means as a vehicle to get to another side.

'I am happy to be here and am looking to do great things and can't wait to get the ball rolling.'

And both Tevez and Mascherano have the backing of another South American, Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho, who believes they are both well suited to the Premiership.

'They are very good players. They adapted very well in Brazil with Corinthians and I'm sure they will do well,' he said.