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Saturday 16 December 2017

Manchester United sign Portuguese striker Bébé for £7.4m

Rory Smith

Manchester United have pulled off a surprising coup by signing Portuguese striker Bébé for £7.4m.

The 20 year-old arrives at Old Trafford from Portuguese club Vitória de Guimarães, with United having agreed to pay the buyout clause to release Bébé from his five-year contract.

The player – a relative unknown outside his native country – only arrived at Guimarães in July, and it is a mark of Sir Alex Ferguson’s enthusiasm that he was prepared to spend that sort of sum on a player who has spent most of his career playing in the Portuguese third division.

Bébé was recommended to Ferguson by his former assistant, the Portugal manager Carlos Queiroz.

His arrival takes United’s spending since the end of last season to £25m. Ferguson has already added former Fulham defender Chris Smalling and Javier Hernández to his squad.

Ferguson is reported to have met the player for the first time only on Tuesday, when he was in Portugal to be a witness for Queiroz in a disciplinary case with the Portuguese Football Federation.

United remain interested in Mesut Özil, the Germany international, although they face competition from Barcelona for his signature.

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