Manchester United - Confusion Reigns Over Ljajic Deal
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Confusion Reigns Over Ljajic Deal

It is still unclear why Manchester United pulled the plug on the deal to bring Adem Ljajic to the club in January. The young Serbian, touted as a hot prospect, would have cost 10m but United decided not to pursue the transfer. The reasons are vague, to say the least.

After the news broke a club spokesman revealed that the management had not been impressed with Ljajic's improvement over the past 12 months and that is the sole reason of scrapping the whole thing - and it is NOT down to financial issues at all, no matter what the papers suggested.

However, Mike Phelan offers a slightly different explanation:

"We went down the road of trying to obtain a work permit," he said.

"We made a tentative approach to get one, and what we got back from the Home Office (or these people you deal with) is that we couldn`t get it through in time for when we had to make a decision on Adem in January."

"The point then is do you lay out the money for Adem when there is the possibility you could or couldn`t get the work permit? We decided it wasn`t the time to do it.

"I`m not sure how we`ve left the situation to be honest, the manager would be better to answer that, but as it stands at the moment Adem Ljajic won`t be joining us in January."

What do we know? It is still not certain that Ljajic will not be joining us although it is likely. Second: even official sources have different explanations for this and that's weird, not to mention disturbing.

If the decision is NOT down to financial reason (as everyone connected with the club insist) then why aren't the stories checking out? 'Not impressed by his improvement' and 'not being able to secure a work permit' seems quite different to me - and if a spokesman whose job is to deal with the media does not know the proper answer, well, that's a pretty major PR mess-up.

So what is it all about? I can offer an explanation for the difference between the explanations but it's stretching it to breaking point. Here it is: as Ljajic did not progress sufficiently the guys at the office indicated that he could not get a work permit on the grounds of exceptional talent which would be his only chance as he hasn't played a sufficient number of games for Serbia yet.

But I don't really believe that and I think that the confusion over the whole business shows that something's wrong, something's fishy. Phelan says it's nothing to do with money and that we tried to secure a permit but it does not sound really convincing, especially with the 'I'm not sure how we've left the situation' line. We can only hope that it is not about debt repayment and that it's really only a footballing decision.

What Phelan said made sense: it'd be insane to pay 10M for someone who would not be able to play until next season the earliest. And if that explanation had come straightaway, not after we had heard a different reason from a spokesman, most of us would have accepted it.

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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 4 2009

Time: 3:28PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Yes I do agree that they messed it up when it came to releasing a statement on this issue but for me it does make sense not to buy him because as far as i know,the guy likes to play on the right or in the centre of the midfield and there we have an ever improving valencia and obertan can play on both the wings plus we have park,nani,giggs can still play there if required and in the centre we have a host of players plus the emerging gibson,petrucci,cleverly is versatile and again doing a good job at watford,so its not that bad,we do have a lot of youngsters who can become stars and bringing in more will only cause more headaches.
Antriksh (abmtd)
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04/12/2009 17:34:00

In fact,I would wait till the summer and if nani hasn't improved I would sell him plus use the ljajic money and try to bring in silva or krasic if he can play on the left wing because that is the only area which concerns me.
Antriksh (abmtd)
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04/12/2009 17:43:00

The media will always try to stir up things as far as I'm concerned,they forget to mention that we did make a bid for benzema of 30 million or may be more than that,plus we did match tevez's agents demand of 25 million but it was his decision not to join us.So to say that we don't have the cash is just plain silly and if fergie feels that there is no value for money in the transfer market,then who are we to question him.Just believe in him and ignore the rest.
Antriksh (abmtd)
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04/12/2009 17:55:00

They are lying to you. You are skint. 80 million for the Tranny went solely on debt repayments. Don't believe the club would lie to you? Why did they arrange to sell Tranaldo to Madrid a full year before the deal was announced, yet come out with statements like "I wouldn't sell that lot a virus?" Be afraid, be very afraid.
Report Abuse
04/12/2009 19:07:00

im really disappionted by this but to be honest alot less than when i first found out about it. It would be really stupid to pay 10 mill for a player completely untested, they finally appear to be learning their lesson from what happened with the likes of nani. i'd much rather see them pay 15-20 mill on dzagoev or krasic than ten on this kid.
Report Abuse
05/12/2009 05:24:00

I am afraid but for your manager.
Antriksh (abmtd)
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05/12/2009 09:47:00

so fcb...lets say u r what? we will still back the team no matter what... i don't get why you idiots have to keep on coming on here saying we don't have money...does it make you feel good about urself....what matters is results on the pitch....u lot spend ur money and we will keep winning... I hope that the clubs financial future is safe...but no matter what we will back the club and I am sure a club of this size would never fail to find suitors....and if worse comes to worse the fans(since united has like millions times more fans than *****ty world wide) we could ut money together and buy the club
Report Abuse
05/12/2009 15:45:00

I'm sure potential suitors are positively falling over themselves to take on your 700m debts.
Report Abuse
05/12/2009 23:22:00

Well more amazing things have happened fcb for example who would've guessed Man City would one day be rich and competing for the top four, that would've been considered crazy not too far back. I guess your owners got mixed up with who they were buying, I mean its only a short jump from United to City in name but in class and skill you're miles off.
One United 23
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08/12/2009 22:38:00

10 mil is quite alot for an unproven talent and yea I would rather it go towards a more established player but who knows he might end up being another great find. Don't know where to really sit when it comes to the 2 different reports, confusion or maybe just cold feet about the transfer or perhaps we are being lied to whatever it is it's only about us not signing an unproven player which doesn't scream urgent to me. Gotta trust Fergie he knows what he's doing.
One United 23
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08/12/2009 22:44:00


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