Tuesday, December 4, 2007

United They Stand? United They Poach?

Manchester United's poaching at Sporting Lisbon is heating up. President Filipe Soares teed off on former Sporting and Portugal manager Carlos Queiroz, Sir Alex's henchman, for comments Queiroz made about Miguel Veloso, Sporting's young defender.

It's no secret Veloso is the latest apple of Ferguson's eye, and brashly, Queiroz said so recently. Soares swears Sporting will reject United's overtures once the Silly Season starts in January. We'll see about that one. The 20 million euros Veloso would likely fetch would nicely fatten up Sporting's coffers.

United has successfully used Sporting as a farm club: see Ronaldo, Nani.

Soares said: "[Veloso] has a contract and he's going to honor it. He will not be for sale in the January transfer window. He'll only be sold when someone pays his £20million buy-out clause. Carlos Queiroz is an employee of Manchester United and made an unacceptable insinuation."

Queiroz didn't stop at Veloso, however. He said Joao Moutinho, Porto's Ricardo Quaresma, Bruno Alves and Bosingwa are also United prospects.

A cap on foreign players in England doesn't make much sense if you're looking at it from a capitalist's point of view, but this will definitely fuel more debate over whether the proposal has viability.

I'm not going to get on my soapbox about the Sporting Academy; you can search my blog for more comments. But jeez, this is starting to look like collusion between United and Sporting, and the conspiracy theorist in me says Soares is calling foul with tongue in cheek. Sporting has never had a problem selling off the best of its crop, why start now?

Pontape na Logica has more on this (in Portuguese).
Maisfutebol has a Q&A with Queiroz (in Portuguese).

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