“Aye Scholesy, still got it.”
So we know that Fergie wrote a private letter to Standard Liege, for the attention of transfer target Steven Defour (pictured below, skipping around a challenge by Spain midfielder Xavi), whose hopes of moving to Old Trafford in January were ruined by a broken metatarsal. The letter read:
“I’ve just heard about your injury and, in the name of Manchester United, I would like to wish you a full and speedy recovery.
“I am sure at the moment you must be feeling awful and that you’ll have all kinds of questions.
“Steven, these are natural worries but I have to tell you that modern medicine and treatments are incredible, you have to have confidence in them.
“I’m going to follow your progress closely and I will remain in contact with your club to have news of your recovery.”
According to the mainstream media, the leak of this letter is a major embarrassment for Ferguson – I don’t think so. What’s so embarrassing about showing a little consideration and courtesy to a player you want to sign? Tapping up, my arse.
In fact, can we stop using the phrase “tapping up” because it’s virtually redundant in modern football. Such is the oligarchical nature of European club football that it’s only natural that the biggest clubs contact smaller clubs with a view to signing their best players. In any other business, it’s called headhunting. And at least Fergie goes about it the right way – in this case, at least.