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Sep 10, 2009

Ferguson: It would be ''crazy'' to pay parents

Sir Alex Ferguson has launched an impassioned defence of Manchester United's signing of young players and insisted it would be ''crazy'' to even contemplate paying parents.

United were accused by the president of French club Le Havre, Jean-Pierre Louvel, of offering the parents of 16-year-old Paul Pogba a house and £170,000 in cash.

Chelsea have been banned from making signings for two transfer windows for inducing a teenager to break his contract with another French club, Lens, and a number of other complaints against English clubs have since been made.

Apart from the Pogba case, Fiorentina have written to FIFA over United's swoop for 16-year-old Italian defender Michele Fornasier, though a formal investigation has yet to be launched.

Ferguson said: ''There has been a lot of jumping on the bandwagon of course but I can assure you that Manchester United have behaved absolutely correctly in all their dealings with young players and their parents.

''There has never been a case, ever, that we have paid parents. It would be crazy to even contemplate that because it would be the biggest headache you could ever have, paying a parent.

''This was levelled [at us] by some frustrated director at the French club and he's now going to have to retract. We do it impeccably. They were always going to bring Manchester United into it because they are the biggest club, but without any foundation, without any knowledge of the situation whatsoever.

''What other clubs do is subject to a lot of controversy at the moment but I'm confident at our own club.''

Ferguson also revealed that Rio Ferdinand is in contention for United's match at Tottenham on Saturday evening but John O'Shea is set to be missing after suffering a calf injury on duty with the Republic of Ireland.

Ferguson added: ''Rio has been in training this week and has a got a chance for Saturday, I'm not sure how big a chance but he has got a chance. I don't know if there's any injuries with the players coming back from games but I think the England players are all right.''

Ireland's coach Giovanni Trapattoni had warned that O'Shea could be ruled out for a couple of months if he is rushed back into action too soon.

Ferguson said: ''O'Shea has not trained - he came back with a calf injury from Ireland's game in Cyprus and is doubtful for Saturday so we will see what he's like.''

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