Outside of supplying the splendid Brooks Peck an endless supply of jokes, the case of Bebe—he of the apocryphal story of playing at the Homeless World Cup, who played a single season for third tier Portuguese side Estrela da Amadora before signing with Manchester United for, depending on who you believe, €9 million in August 2010—had slipped beneath the soccer news cycle.
Until today, when David Conn penned an interesting article on an investigation into his big money signing with United being conducted in Portugal. The details look sketchy, to say the least. Bebe’s agent, Jorge Mendes, apparently pocketed €3.6 million from the deal. So one begins to wonder why United paid an exorbitant transfer fee for an inexperienced player with a single season in third division Portuguese football under his belt. Conn forces you to read between the lines a bit here:
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.
Italics mine—RED ALERT. United of course are pointing out they’re not under investigation for any wrong-doing, and obviously the investigation is ongoing. Still…COME ON.