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Man Utd helping Portuguese police investigations into Bebe transfer

Police in Portugal are planning to question Manchester United about the club's £7.2m signing of the striker Bébé from the Portuguese club Vitória Guimarães, as part of their criminal investigation into the deal, reports The Guardian. 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%, £2.89m. It was reported in Vitória's subsequent general meeting that Mendes's cut 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.

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.

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Dave Williams

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