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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 12 May 2021

Portuguese police to speak to Manchester United over Bébé deal

An anti-corruption unit are investigating the controversial transfer and will question the Premier League club, reports claim.

AN INVESTIGATION INTO the transfer of footballer Tiago Bébé from Vitoria Guimaraes to Manchester United is being undertaken by police in Portugal, according to reports in The Guardian today.

The player, who was previously unheard of and had just one season of third division football under his belt, joined the Premier League giants in a move worth €9m in August 2010.

United boss Alex Ferguson later admitted he had never seen the striker play but agreed to the deal after he had been recommended by former assistant coach Carlos Queiroz.

It later transpired that Jorge Mendes, the agent who brokered deals for Cristiano Ronaldo, Anderson, Nani and many more of Portugal’s highest earning players, had received 40% of the tranfer fee after he had become Bébé’s agent and bought a significant fraction of his economic rights just days beforehand.

He went on to play just six times for the Red Devils before being shipped out on loan to Turkish club Besiktas last season, where he tore a cruciate knee ligament in August. Last month, he was dropped from the first team and ordered to train with the reserves for breaking a curfew.

David Conn of The Guardian, who has been investigating Mendes’ dealings for some time, is reporting that United will be questioned by an anti-corruption unit in relation to claims by Bébé’s former agent Goncalo Reis to the Portuguese Football Federation that Mendes had poached the player.

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

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Ben Blake

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