sport

Ferguson fury at Fryers move

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed his fury at Tottenham Hotspur signing former Reds defender Ezekiel Fryers.

The 20-year-old was out of contract at United and looked set to join Spurs last summer but the two sides failed to agree a compensation amount, United reportedly wanting 6m for the England youth international.

The defender left Old Trafford for Standard Liege and made the move to White Hart Lane as soon as the January transfer window opened, in a reported 3m deal.

The Reds boss is demanding authorities look into the matter as his side lost out on a sizeable fee for the left-back, although he accepts Spurs were not breaking any rules.

Speaking to MUTV, Ferguson said: "To me, I think it's a blatant manipulation of the rules.

"Tottenham did nothing wrong as he went to Standard Liege. They tried to buy him off us and we'd been looking for a certain figure. They wouldn't pay it but asked if they could take him down there on trial and, at that time, he was out of contract in June anyway.

"So he went down on trial and he went to Portugal with them. They then said they weren't prepared to pay the money and, all of a sudden, he signed for Standard Liege.

"We knew immediately and suspected that he would return to Tottenham in January and that's happened. It's a [Spurs chairman] Daniel Levy deal. You know, it's his fingerprints all over it. It's the kind of thing we expected he was going to do."

Tottenham have defended the deal they agreed with Fryers, a club spokesman said: "Zeki Fryers was out of contract in the summer. We had looked in to the possibility of signing the player but were unable to agree a deal on the terms Manchester United were asking.

"Zeki chose to go to Standard Liege, who paid compensation to Manchester United. Zeki enjoyed his time at Standard. However, when Standard sacked their manager in November Zeki wasn't part of the new manager's plans, which he accepts and understands happens in football.

"Unfortunately, a combination of this, and the fact that he had become homesick meant he wanted to return to England and his representatives made contact with clubs in England. This afforded us a second opportunity to sign the player and as per FIFA's solidarity contribution mechanism, Manchester United will receive five per cent of the transfer fee we have paid."