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By Portugese police. 3 million of the transfer fee has gone missing. Hope some of found its way into purplenoses account.
-- Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:19 pm --
Manchester United’s peculiar £7.5million transfer of misfit striker Bebe is being investigated by anti-corruption police in Portugal, it emerged on Friday night.
It appears about £3m of the fee paid went missing. United’s decision to pay so much money for a virtual unknown raised eyebrows when they struck the deal with Portuguese club Vitoria Guimaraes in August 2010. Only 20 at the time, Bebe made just three starts for United - none in the league - before being loaned to Besiktas in Turkey last summer.
He appeared out of his depth at Old Trafford, raising questions as to why United had made such an investment.
Now it has emerged that Portuguese police are looking into the deal to find out where around £3m of the money has gone. Their anti-corruption department have scheduled hearings with various witnesses in Iberia.
There is no suggestion that United did anything wrong and they have previously gone on record as saying none of the transfer fee went directly to an agent. On Friday night United declined to comment.
Directors at Vitoria claimed at a board meeting 18 months ago that around three million euros went to Bebe’s agent, Jorges Mendes, as part of the deal. On Friday night, Mendes’ company Gestifute did not confirm or deny that police have been in touch.
Probe: Portuguese police are investigating the transfer
Bebe’s transfer was so unusual because he was playing for tiny Division Two club Estrela da Amadora and living in a homeless shelter only weeks before joining United.
Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he signed Bebe ‘blind’, having seen him play only on video. Former United No 2 Carlos Queiroz pointed Ferguson towards the tall striker after he scored 40 goals in six games during a street tournament.
Bebe went from earning £12,000 a year at Estrela to £12,000 a week at United. His former boss Jorge Paxaio told Sportsmail the player could have been signed for just £125,000 the previous year.
This season he has just started playing for Besiktas after rupturing knee ligaments last summer. He is expected to be sold by United - probably back to Portugal - this summer, to end one of the strangest transfers of modern times.
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