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RoM Reads

The Independent claims Fergie won’t be retiring yet.

EPL Index has the stats comparing this season with last.

The Telegraph talks about Paul Scholes playing on.

ManUtd.com has some news on our pre-season.

Dirty Tackle has the latest Dimitar Berbatov is… The Continental.

ESPN reports on Eden Hazard’s claims that he’ll be playing in blue next season.


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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250 Comments

  1. King Eric says:

    Why have I mistaken you for another? Why would I say I enjoyed your posts? To massage your ego or simply because I made it up and don’t even remember you? Neither pal.

  2. King Eric says:

    matt – Maybe there are more pressing issues than a couple of million on Bebe , thats why nobody is that concerned about talking about it. Like winning our title back, getting a midfielder, replacing Berbatov. They are more pressing to me. Laters.

  3. Dazbomber says:

    Does the panel think inlight of some strange performances in Europe and some lack luster performance’s in the league namely Blackburn at home and Wigan away that the players have got wind that Sir Alex may be going at the end of the season because some thing doesn’t add up.

  4. wayne says:

    mattbw7 yes mate but both clubs owe 600mill don’t they have interest to pay on those loans? and what has Real got out of all the overspending how many trohies have been won over the last 7 yrs?
    Matt you only take the one negative side like most Anti’s you never talk about increased revenue and value of the club,what was Utds sponsership deals when the Glaziers took over?now it’s over a 100mill a year and is this 500mill a accurate figure?.
    What honestly really drives me batty anyone buying Utd would more than likely go into debt so where’s the difference? just new owners no one would have a clue about.You have a solution to remove the Glaziers and guarantee the club will be debt free i’m all ears mate

  5. mattbw7 says:

    King Eric says:
    Why have I mistaken you for another? Why would I say I enjoyed your posts? To massage your ego or simply because I made it up and don’t even remember you? Neither pal.

    Because my posts have been both abrasive and upbeat depending on the subject etc, so you would’ve read similar stuff from me before, that’s all.

    For all my griping today, I’m still positive about Sunday, why not be?

  6. wayne says:

    Cedars heard yesterday by 2020 will have Robot hookers,talk about sloppy seconds

  7. kanchelskis says:

    @Dazbomber

    There’s no logic in that. There are lacklustre performances in every season. We’re gonna finish with a points total that would win us the league in the vast majority of PL seasons. I doubt you were speculating about Fergie’s future every time we won the league with fewer points than we’ll have come 5pm Sunday.

    While our CM area clearly needs work, City’s strength has really skewed a lot of people’s opinions about our performances this season.

  8. WillieRedNut says:

    That was my opinion. Not interested in what any president has to say. You started off with the coolmore mafia issue, then moved on to the Bebe transfer. You’ve got an agenda. What is it Matt?

  9. CedarsDevil says:

    wayne

    As long as they are properly oiled I do not give a fuck!!

  10. Albert Ross says:

    mattbw7

    If money needed to be laundered, why chose the homeless boy to do it?

    High profile story, world-wide. A player that even non-football families read about, remember, want to follow and hear more about. Why not choose a run-of-the-mill deal?

  11. mattbw7 says:

    Yes Wayne the 500 mill is accurate, that much is published fact, what is alarming that while revenues and operating profits have grown, once the interest payments and charges are factored in we lose money every year.

    So the biggest club in the world (by revenue) isn’t in profit, there are two solutions, one is a sugar daddy, unlikely. The other is eventual administration, which if handled properly would see the club survive.

  12. King Eric says:

    matt – Fair enough. Leave it there pal. MUST go now. Funnily enough I am not positive about Sunday. City will bang in 4 or 5 against those. Only saving grace is they NEED ONE point to stay up. Park the bus Sparky!

  13. mattbw7 says:

    Albert Ross says:
    mattbw7

    If money needed to be laundered, why chose the homeless boy to do it?

    High profile story, world-wide. A player that even non-football families read about, remember, want to follow and hear more about. Why not choose a run-of-the-mill deal?

    I didn’t say money had been laundered, is not enough that 3 million was paid as commission on a transfer totalling 7 million and the bloke will never be United standard if he played till the 200th anniversary of the club and we haven’t got him off the books yet.

  14. Albert Ross says:

    zhukov43 – sorry so long to reply. That article does nothing for me, sorry mate.

    It is a contrived scenario which relies on numerous suppositions, melded to suit a story-line.

  15. mattbw7 says:

    This’ll make you laugh, United got Rovers relegated, well sort of, it seems beating us at OT saved Keanes job when some at the club wanted him out and the owners were not convinced of the need to invest in the playing staff for the same reason. Pity really as we got a 7000 allocation for the away game.

  16. Albert Ross says:

    mattbw7

    So are you not alleging impropriety by Sir Alex, merely poor judgement of the player?

  17. wayne says:

    matt administration? the clubs value keeps going up every year and it doesn’t lose money every year that’s just not true mate.Last time i saw anything on the debt its was around 350mill and the clubs value is 2bill administration just doesn’t come into the equation.You didn’t answer my question on Real and Barca don’t those clubs have to service the 600mill debt as well,don’t see doom and gloom and admininistration talks about those clubs,what’s the difference?
    Wouldn’t mind seeing the link to the 500mill if it was published and you have it.thanks

  18. WillieRedNut says:

    Blame CQ for Bebe’s purchase.

  19. bayoRed says:

    Bebe was a charity case! To him in person and to Portuguese Football. No other way Glazers were going to sanction our noble cause. We got 80mil from a Portuguese player, we got nani ando, give back!

  20. mattbw7 says:

    it’s difficult to comment on Barca and Real as I don’t their position but taking your word for it, whether RM have won trophies or not isn’t the point, they’ve spent that money on the club, the same with Barca, the difference is clear, our debt exist purely to allow the Glazers to own us, we get no benefit from it, it’s only SAFs genius that’s kept us competitive, now imagine if we’d accumulated that debt as a result of team or stadium improvements, some Arsenal fans complain about their lack of trophies in recent years, yet it’s clear their debt was incurred by the building of the Emirates and as such it’s moving the club forward, their debt is being paid down ours is being serviced as for the 2 billion valuation can you point me in that direction or link it up cheers.

  21. mattbw7 says:

    Albert Ross says:
    mattbw7

    So are you not alleging impropriety by Sir Alex, merely poor judgement of the player?

    Well how he could make a judgement on a player he didn’t see play………… and there is either impropriety or stupidity over the missing 3 million, no?

  22. Albert Ross says:

    mattbw7

    Which one is it, to your mind?

  23. LUHG says:

    We don’t need Hazard, he’s a cunt, once he said at french TV he wanted to go to spurs and now Chelshit or shitty !!!!!!Just another mercenary player !!!! We’ll never die !!!!!

  24. wayne says:

    matt this is 2012 list

    Forbes rich list
    •1. Manchester United – $2.235bn (£1.396bn)
    •2. Real Madrid – $1.877bn (£1.17bn)
    •3. Barcelona – $1.307bn (£816m)
    •4. Arsenal – $1.292bn (£807m)
    •5. Bayern Munich – $1.235bn (£770m)
    •6. AC Milan – $989m (£615m)
    •7. Chelsea – $761m (£473m)
    •8. Liverpool – $619m (£385m)
    •9. Juventus – $591m (£367m)
    •10. Schalke 04 – $587m (£365m)
    •11. Tottenham Hotspur

  25. mattbw7 says:

    Impropriety, I don’t for one minute think United are that stupid, either the 3 mill was payment for services rendered on other deals or forthcoming deals (a sweetener) or a nice little carve up, either way United just need to tell us the price they negotiated with the club, the amount they handed over and the reason for the difference if there’s nothing untoward, why not do it.

  26. mattbw7 says:

    cheers wayne so we’re worth £1.4 billion give or take with around what 400 mill of debt, the Glazers bought us for what £750 mill so if they’re just rapacious business men, why not sell and cream a tidy profit, I’ve no doubt Uniteds value has increased in the last 7 years however it’s one thing to see that valuation and another to achieve that at sale, interesting none the less though.

    Another point it raises with me, if I accept the £1.4 billion and as I don’t have evidence to the contrary isn’t odd that we’re still paying relatively high interest rates, surely the LTV ratio would mean you could refinance the debt with lower interest payments.

  27. wayne says:

    matt my posts at 14.06 and 14.39 are taken from recent articles about both clubs
    matt you keep going on about the Glaziers but i’ll get back to my point most buyers will end up having debt to pay,City and Chelsea just lose millions every year and really mate don’t see your point on Barca or Real bottomline both clubs owe 600mill to the banks which still has to be paid of and interest added so how are either in a better position than Utd?

  28. WillieRedNut says:

    Agree with LUHG. Hazard hasn’t a scooby doo what club he wants to sign for. Kagawa looks a better bet.

  29. wayne says:

    matt no mate i’m sure it was 750mill dollars so you’d have to use the 2.3 bill,value of the club has almost tripled since Glaziers took over,think the pound valuation was 550mill,just saying admin is not even in the equation.

  30. Albert Ross says:

    mattbw7

    There are hundreds of far more pertinent questions that the owners don’t have to answer.

    How is any of the Bebe financial issue relevant to us?

    Does it matter whether Jack or Jill got the cash, as long as there’s no impropriety?
    Why do we have to know who got what amount for what service?

    It’s about as relevant as which stationer is supplying pencils to Old Trafford.

  31. KVN says:

    If United are going to flex their financial muscles and make a statement in the transfer market then
    the Glazers need to list the club on the stock market, that way the debt will be cleared and we can start spending serious money on quality players SAF has been crying out for.

    I done a link to this website that gives an interesting statistical insight to how United have performed
    this season against last. You can also compare ours against city’s stats. What i can say is that they are very close.

    http://www.eplindex.com/14318/how-does-your-team-compare-last-season-opta-stats.html

  32. TonyBee Watson says:

    Albert Ross says:
    United remain successful because we are always in transition.

    reason – the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic

    prejudice – preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience

    judgmental – having or displaying an excessively critical point of view

    - – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    albatross – a lovely seabird with beautiful plumage…..

    but wanders across the oceans all on his own and is a clumsy fucker on land…. :lol:

  33. TonyBee Watson says:

    Albert Ross says:

    Tonybee Watson — handsome bastard with a 10″ willy (he’s a fisherman!)

    got asked once to give a bird 10″ and to make her bleed………sigh……..

    had to fuck her 3 times and punch her on the fucking nose….

  34. mancdub says:

    I’m sure Hazzard will be wearing blue next season but will he make that much difference?
    There’s only two players on the planet that could dramatically improve that team and Hazzard isn’t one of them.

  35. mattbw7 says:

    Albert Ross says:
    mattbw7

    There are hundreds of far more pertinent questions that the owners don’t have to answer.

    How is any of the Bebe financial issue relevant to us?

    Does it matter whether Jack or Jill got the cash, as long as there’s no impropriety?
    Why do we have to know who got what amount for what service?

    It’s about as relevant as which stationer is supplying pencils to Old Trafford.

    You’re kidding right?

  36. Albert Ross says:

    mattbw7 – Is it important who gets the pencil money, as long as there’s no impropriety?

    I don’t care who got the pencil money. I don’t care who got the Bebe money.

    I’m not kidding.

  37. Albert Ross says:

    TonyBee – when does she get the balance of the 10 inches?

  38. mattbw7 says:

    Well shouldn’t you. if pencil seller says it’s 40p and you getting charged 70p for no good reason, why wouldn’t you just pay the 40p. you’d gladly hand over the 70p? Or put it another way your analogy doesn’t work as agents fees are not a part of stationary supplies, now shall we discuss how the selling club was asking for and got circa 4mill, United paid out 7mill and you think that doesn’t point to something being amiss, as you say why pick on this to do a dirty deed which leads to, why don’t the selling club, the buying club and the agent make statements about it. The reason I’m curious is because it points to something that I’m not sure is in the best interests of the club and that is something it’s employees from Gill to Ferguson to the cleaner have a contractual obligation for.

  39. Albert Ross says:

    mattbw7

    Using your numbers and assumptions on who got what, there is 3 million unaccounted for.

    So what?

    If it bought hot-dogs, or wallpaper, or was lost, the reason doesn’t affect us.
    As long as nothing illegal or just plain crooked is happening.
    Unless you think that there is impropriety, which you don’t.

    There is no need for joint statements, or any statement. How is it relevant? It’s not.

  40. mara says:

    I red that Barca is selling half of squad…only seven players are not for sale. Maybe there is our chance to buy some good playes.

  41. mara says:

    We said money cant buy success…but it looks like Citeh bought it….jerks!

  42. Red Keighley says:

    Not sure if these stats are included above but in todays Guardian it states since 2008 Shitty have spent £80m on central midfielders and UTD have spent fuck all!!
    Doesnt that just some up the financial constraints we are working in with the fucking Glazers taking out over £500m from the club to pay off the debt! I am losing patience with SAF and Gill constantly saying there is no problem with the Glazers financial model – if so how is it on net transfer spend we have spent less than Stoke, Villa and Sunderland over the last 5 years. I want honesty from the management team about our situation then I can accept that we are looking to recruit from Crewe rather than Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Paris St Germain!!
    It is becoming clear that asking Giggsy to play on until he is 40 and bringing the Ginger Ninja out of retirement (and possibly extending his contract for a further year) is really a sticking plaster job esentially exploiting the fans loyalty to cover up that we cannot compete in the transfer market with other top PL clubs, never mind Europes elite. That may well be true but we are the fucking richest club in the world (according to Forbes) which ought to give us some leverage.
    I have 2 further concerns about the finanacial situation and the succession plan for a new manager.
    1) SAF has said he will stay for a further 2/3 years – will world class players sign for us knowing the current manager may be gone 2 years into their contract
    2) How can we attract a world class manager when there are such financial limits on our transfer budget
    As a mate of mine said today lets just recruit David Moyes as we are turning into the new Everton! Or will the Venkys buy us now that Blackburn have been relegated!

  43. mattbw7 says:

    But Albert, I do.

  44. parryheid says:

    Who said 7mill was paid for someone?

  45. mattbw7 says:

    Uniteds accounts.

  46. parryheid says:

    I thought Lindegaard was 6 mill.

  47. Brendan says:

    Mabey we could get Torres of Chelsea , would b a good buy for us with berba going..

  48. United Till I Die says:

    Re: Stats, its obvious why we’re behind on GD even though we played better than last year – Ando and Tom needed to be fit all season and they weren’t. If we had them available both would’ve had opportunity to play 40+ games like Jones. Fergie knew about Fletcher’s condition so he was relying on Ando and Tom to shore up midfield. His game plan was sound imo. Would we be starting a 70+ year old midfield partnership if we had two young skillful alternatives on the bench? Who do you think took apart Arsenal? The fact Scholes made more appearances than either player SINCE christmas says it all really. Sods Law.

    If we were miles behind City fair enough, but to run them this close while missing 3 first team midfielders is hard to take. They wouldn’t be joint top if Yaya alone was missing for most of their season, never mind another two starters.

    But QPR could yet make a mockery of their arrogance. Heres hoping we beat Sunderland and Sparky works his magic – Im not exactly a Barton admirer but thank fuck he’s starting for them, Cissie too. They are fighting for survival and a draw would do them nicely even if Bolton beat Stoke.

  49. mattbw7 says:

    Portuguese police to question Manchester United over Bébé transfer
    Police in Portugal are planning to question Manchester United about the club’s €9m (£7.2m) signing of the striker Bébé from the Portuguese club Vitória Guimarães, as part of their criminal investigation into the deal.

    The judicial police national unit for combating corruption, part of the Justice Ministry based in Lisbon, is investigating the 11 August, 2010 transfer, by which United paid that fee for a player whose only competitive experience was a single season in the Portuguese third division.

    Bébé’s agent, appointed days before he moved to United, was Jorge Mendes, also agent to Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Anderson, who moved from Portuguese clubs to Old Trafford in previous seasons. Of the €9m United paid to Vitória for Bébé, Mendes was paid 40%, €3.6m (£2.89m). It was reported in Vitória’s subsequent general meeting that Mendes’s €3.6m comprised a 10% agent’s commission, €900,000, and the further €2.7m because Mendes had also just acquired 30% of Bébé’s “economic rights”, part-ownership of the player.

    Sir Alex Ferguson said at the time that Bébé was the only player he had signed in his long managerial career without having watched him at all first, even on video. United said Bébé had been recommended by Carlos Queiroz, coach of the Portugal national team, formerly Ferguson’s assistant at Old Trafford.

    On 10 April, the police anti-corruption unit in Lisbon wrote to Bébé’s former agent, Gonçalo Reis, asking him to attend at their headquarters and as a witness to provide his account of what happened in the deal. The letter informed Reis that a processo-crime – literally, criminal proceedings – “relate to the transfer of the professional football player Tiago Manuel Dias Correia (known as ‘Bébé’) from Vit. Guimarães to Manchester United (England).”

    The police unit declined to officially confirm to the Guardian the scope of their inquiries or what precise aspects of the transfer they are investigating. Reis has complained formally to the Portuguese Football Federation that Mendes improperly poached Bébé from him before very quickly sealing the United move, in breach of Fifa’s regulations governing the conduct of agents.

    Reis told the Guardian that on 23 April he was interviewed for around three hours by a police inspector, José Cunha Ribeiro, at the anti-corruption unit’s offices. Reis said the police asked him in detail about every aspect of the transfer, and told him they plan to ask United for their version of the deal. Subsequently Reis emailed several documents to the inspector, including his contract to represent Bébé.

    A spokesman for United said: “Clearly if the police ask us for information, we will co-operate with them. Nobody is suggesting that we have done anything wrong.”

    Mendes and his agency Gestifute did not respond to the Guardian’s questions about the police investigation. They have previously denied poaching Bébé from Reis. In his complaint to the PFF, Reis claims he had an exclusive contract to represent Bébé as the player’s agent for two years from 25 August 2009. Bébé, who had a poor, deprived childhood, his parents having abandoned him, was still living in a care home when he played for Estrela da Amadora, in Portugal’s semi-professional third division, in 2009-10.

    He played one full season as a striker for Estrela, then after they failed to pay him because the club was in financial difficulties, Reis negotiated the termination of the player’s contract and Bébé became a free agent. He moved to Vitória, a first division club, in June 2010, with Reis brokering the terms of the contract. For a time Bébé lived in Reis’s house as he came to terms with making his way into professional football. He played in just six pre-season friendlies for Vitória when a story appeared in Marca, the Spanish football newspaper, that Real Madrid, managed by José Mourinho, a client of Mendes, were suddenly interested in signing him. United have always said they then moved rapidly to sign him, on the recommendation of Queiroz, who is also represented by Mendes.

    According to Reis’s official complaint, on 9 August, 2010 he received a letter from Bébé, dated 5 August, in which Bébé sacked Reis as his agent. Two days later, on 11 August, Bébé was transferred to United, who paid €9m to Guimarães for him, and gave the player a three-year full professional contract on wages Reis believes are €63,000 a month, net of tax. It emerged subsequently that Mendes had become the agent and owner of 30% of Bébé’s economic rights, too, and made €3.6m from the United deal.

  50. mattbw7 says:

    From the Guardian

    Bébé started only three matches for Manchester United and is currently on loan at Besiktas.

    Sir Alex Ferguson’s transfer policy at Manchester United is attracting increased scrutiny from fans for its glaring contrast with huge-spending rivals Manchester City, and the signing of Bébé, for €9m (£7.2m) in August 2010 becomes no less curious with the passage of time. Now the deal, in which Bébé’s just-appointed agent, Jorge Mendes, was paid €3.6m (£2.89m) from the €9m fee, is subject to a criminal investigation in Portugal by the judicial police’s national unit for combating corruption.

    The Lisbon-based anti-corruption unit wrote last month to Bébé’s former agent, Gonçalo Reis, who has now formally complained to Fifa that Mendes improperly poached Bébé from him just before Mendes concluded the lucrative deal with United. The police asked Reis to recount as a witness his relationship with Bébé and all that happened just before Bébé terminated his contract with him and signed up with Mendes. The police letter to Reis, from the inspector, José Cunha Ribeiro, leading the investigation, informed Reis that a processo-crime – criminal proceedings – “relate to the transfer of the professional football player Tiago Manuel Dias Correia (known as ‘Bébé’) from Vit. Guimarães to Manchester United (England)”.

    Reis told the Guardian that when he presented himself at the anti-corruption unit’s headquarters on 23 April, he was interviewed for around three hours about every aspect of his dealings with Bébé and how his contract with the player was terminated.

    Reis said Inspector Ribeiro told him the police are planning to question United about their version of the deal.

    A spokesman for United said: “Clearly if the police ask us for information, we will co-operate with them. Nobody is suggesting that we have done anything wrong.”

    The police unit declined to officially confirm to the Guardian the scope of their inquiries or what precise aspects of the transfer they are investigating.

    The season before the Bébé signing, 2009-10, United had lost out, by one point, to Chelsea for the Premier League title, and were eliminated by Bayern Munich in the European Champions League quarter-finals. To then strengthen his squad, Ferguson signed just three young players that summer: the promising Mexican centre-forward, Javier Hernández, elegant defender Chris Smalling – and Bébé. Also a forward, Bébé’s only competitive football had been the single 2009-10 season in the Portuguese third division. When United paid that fee for him, he had signed for Vitória, a Portuguese first division club, for whom he had played six pre-season friendlies.

    Ferguson had for some time complained that the transfer market was over-priced and there were no United-quality players available at the right value. He and United’s chief executive, David Gill, have always denied United’s modesty in the transfer market, despite the club’s massive income, £286m in 2009-10, was due to the debts loaded on to the club by the Glazer family’s 2005 takeover, which have since cost United £500m in interest, fees and finance charges.

    That same summer, 2010, City, backed by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, bought Yaya Touré, who in City’s crucial 1-0 derby victory on 30 April this season, dominated the 37-year-old returnee from retirement, Paul Scholes, in midfield. City also spent lavishly on recruiting David Silva, James Milner, Mario Balotelli and Jérôme Boateng, who left after a season for Bayern Munich (at a profit to City). The combined outlay on those five players was £110m.

    United have always said they moved rapidly to conclude the deal to sign Bébé, and that he was the only player Ferguson has signed in his epic managerial career whom he had not watched at all before. United said the manager signed Bébé following a recommendation by Carlos Queiroz, Ferguson’s former assistant, then the coach of Portugal’s national team. Queiroz’s agent, too, was Mendes. Bébé had moved to Mendes’s company, Gestifute, only days before Mendes concluded the lucrative move to United.

    Reis represented Bébé when he played for Estrela da Amadora in the semi-professional Portuguese third division, while Bébé was still living in a care home. In June 2010, Reis brokered the deal for Bébé to move to Vitória. He had played only pre-season friendlies when Marca, the Spanish football newspaper, splashed with the news that Real Madrid, where another Mendes client, José Mourinho, had become manager, were keen on Bébé. United signed the player for €9m on 11 August, two days after Reis received a letter dated 5 August from Bébé, sacking Reis as his agent. It was later reported at Vitória’s general meeting that Mendes had been paid 10% agent’s commission, and had also bought, presumably very shortly before, 30% of the player’s “economic rights” for an undisclosed amount, which earned him a further €2.7m when United signed Bébé.

    Reis’s complaint, sent to Fifa this week, asks that Mendes be sanctioned for representing Bébé in the move to United, while the player had an existing contract for Reis to represent him. Reis refers to Fifa’s code governing the conduct of licensed football agents, which prohibits agents from contacting players who have existing agreements with other agents, and from “any action that could entice clients away from other parties”.

    Reis argues in his complaint that a €9m transfer “is not likely to be negotiated and finalised overnight” and that “evidence shows that transfers of this nature and financial significance are the result of intense negotiations … sometimes taking several weeks to be successfully concluded. Consequently one can conclude on the balance of probabilities that the transfer took at least several days to be prepared before it was finally announced.”

    Reis asked Fifa to rule in the case because Bébé’s move was an international transfer between a Portuguese club, Vitória, and United, and he calls for Mendes’s agent’s licence to be withdrawn, “or other appropriate sanction”.

    United said at the time, and maintain, that the decision to sign Bébé was made, and the deal concluded, very quickly, and that it did not take weeks to agree. Mendes’s agency, Gestifute, based in Porto, did not respond to detailed questions from the Guardian about the police investigation or Reis’s complaint. The agency has previously denied poaching Bébé from Reis or breaching Fifa’s agents’ regulations.

    Mendes himself had a meteoric rise in the football agency business to the point where he represented Mourinho and most of the best Portuguese players who attracted profitable moves abroad. He previously sealed the deals for United to sign the prodigy Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon in August 2003 for £12m, then in July 2007, in the early years of the Glazers’ ownership, Nani, for £25.5m, also from Sporting Lisbon, and Brazil’s Anderson, from Porto, for £27m.

    Ferguson noticeably restrained his spending since the £71m spent in that summer of 2007, and continued to complain about inflation in the transfer market, despite United making a £68m profit when they sold Ronaldo to Real Madrid for £80m in July 2009. Nevertheless, Ferguson found €9m to sign Bébé in a deal with the same agent, for a player with barely any professional experience. Bébé then started just three cup matches for United last season, before being loaned to the Turkish side Besiktas last summer, where he has been out injured.

    As dusk beckons for Ferguson’s great tenure, Bébé is a signing which continues to stand out like a beacon

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