Manchester United have confirmed Jorge Mendes brokered the deal for Bebe.
The Guardian says Bebé's previous agent, Gonçalo Reis, who had represented Bebé when he moved to Vitória just weeks earlier from the third division club Estrela da Amadora, has previously complained he was cut out of the deal before Bebé signed for United. Bebé, included in United's senior squad for the first time tonight, away at Scunthorpe United in the Carling Cup, had not played a single competitive match for Vitória, and Ferguson had not seen him play, when United's manager signed him for £7.4m.
It was known at the time that Mendes, the agent of Ferguson's former assistant and Portugal's then coach, Carlos Queiroz, and a string of Portuguese stars including Cristiano Ronaldo, had acted in the deal, but not that he was Bebé's own agent. A spokesman for United has now clarified that Mendes did act for Bebé in the transfer.
"Jorge Mendes is Bebé's agent," the spokesman said. He added that United did not employ an agent themselves on the deal. "We dealt with Bebé's representative and the club."
Mendes's involvement as Bebé's agent raises the possibility that Reis could formally complain to Fifa that Bebé was "poached" from him, which, if proven, would be a breach of the worldwide regulations governing the conduct of agents. Reis would not comment on that, or on the revelation that Mendes acted for Bebé personally in the move.