Manchester United misfit striker Bebe
Manchester United misfit striker Bebe Reuters

Portuguese anti-corruption police are reportedly investigating the £7.4 million transfer of misfit striker Bebe from Portuguese club Vitória de Guimarães to Manchester United in 2010, reports the Daily Mail.

According to the report, nearly £3 million of the transfer fee paid by the Red Devils is still unaccounted for although the officials at Vitória had earlier (18 months ago) said the £3 million had gone to Bebe's agent Jorges Mendes, as a part of his commission. Now, Portuguese anti-corruption police are looking into this rather peculiar deal to find out where the missing money actually went. The Red Devils seem to be in the clear as they had previously publically stated that no part of their transfer fee went directly to agent.

Many were surprised when Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson decided to pay so much for an unknown striker who barely started in three games before being loaned to Turkish club Besiktas last summer. Ferguson now admits the signing of Bebe had been done in a hurry.

"It is one of those things that happens when you identify someone with potential. Normally you would assess someone over a longer period of time but other clubs were starting to have a look so we made a quick decision," the Guardian quoted Ferguson as saying.

However, this rather strange deal does seem to have helped Bebe, who had reportedly been living at a homeless shelter just a couple of weeks prior to joining the Red Devils. Also, the player, who had been playing for a small Portuguese Division Two club called Estrela da Amadora, went from earning £12,000 annually to £12,000 per week after joining the Red Devils.

Ferguson also admitted he had never personally seen the 21 year old in action, apart from seeing him play on videos and said that he blindly signed Bebe after Carlos Queiroz (Ferguson's former assistant manager) referred the striker, who found the net 40 times from six appearances in a street tournament. Earlier, Bebe's former coach Jorge Paixão (currently the manager of Mafra) had said that the secret to Bebe's rare abilities was his harsh upbringing.

"He's a player who is the fruit of street football. Nowadays players are schooled in the clubs, but he has none of this. He's an old-school player. He learned to play in the street and has that natural creativity, an irreverence, and that makes all the difference. He improvises very well, because he has quality, and he has a set of characteristics that are difficult to find in a single footballer: he's tall, he's good in the air, he's technically gifted and he's very fast," an earlier report by the Guardian quoted as Paixão saying.