You really have to hand it to the old fox. While all the attention has been on the “Will he” or “Won’t he” attempt to sign German international Mesut Ozil, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has snuck under everybody’s radar to complete the transfer of the relatively unknown 20 year old Portugese striker Bebe from Vitoria de Guimaraes for a reported £7.4m
Having been burdened by the cumbersome name of Tiago Manuel Dias Correia since birth, it’s little wonder that Bebe is now commonly referred to by his nickname and while very little is known about him, Real Madrid’s daily magazine Marca featured a story on it’s August 11 edition stating that the club is closely monitoring the progress of the boy they refer to as the “young Portuguese sensation”.
The youngster had played in the Loures young teams from 2001 until 2008 when he moved to the Amadora under 19’s. Bebe made his debut in the Portuguese 3rd Division fast becoming one of his team’s most important players. His qualities caught the attention of several major clubs which led to his transfer to Guimaraes on a five year contract and is now considered their most promising player, scoring a hatful of goals in pre season.
Thanks to his brilliant performances Bebe saw his salary dramatically increased and agreed a contract termination clause of 9 million Euros. The promising goal scorer was highly recommended to Ferguson by former United assistant coach Carlos Queiroz who is now manager of the Portugal national team. Sir Alex only met the striker for the first time on the day before the transfer but personal terms have already been agreed which will see Bebe becoming the eighth striker on the books at Old Trafford subject to passing a medical. It should be pointed out that many of his fans in Portugal don’t consider him a striker at all but rather as an attacking midfielder.
Bebe is very sound technically with a good turn of speed and a nice right foot which has been responsible for the majority of his goals. The Guardian reports that the 6’2″ striker was raised in an orphanage after spending part of his childhood on the streets and has represented his country in the Homeless World Cup. United has agreed to pay the buy out clause to release Bebe from his five year contract at Guimaraes only five weeks after he joined the club from Amadora in the Portuguese third division.
The signing represents a major surprise given Ferguson’s recent insistence that he did not want to add to his squad and the player’s low profile in Portuguese football. Queiroz has convinced Ferguson that he may have unearthed a future gem and Bebe will provide competition for Wayne Rooney, Hernández, Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen and Federico Macheda with Mame Biram Diouf having joined Blackburn Rovers on a season long loan and Daniel Welbeck expected to be on his way to Sunderland.
For one so young, Bebe certainly has an interesting background. Apart from participating at the Homeless World Cup in his youth he is widely respected for his tireless and ongoing charity work. Having been raised in an orphanage after spending part of his childhood living on the streets, he became a practicing Buddhist claiming that he wouldn’t be alive today without his faith.
One of the strange facts revealed on Bebe’s Wikipedia profile is that he is a keen Susanologist and is believed to have slept with at least sixty two women called Susan in the last three years. Can that be regarded as being too much information about the young man? Does it really matter as long as he can do the business on the park?
Sir Alex has made some eyebrow raising signings over the years, who can forget Dong, Manucho and a number of others but is there anyone who dare second guess the great man of English football? For all we know, Ferguson may have unearthed another Cristiano Ronaldo – or wasted £7m of Glazier money!
Does Ferguson now has too many strikers on his books?