• Premier League

Tottenham deny Ferguson accusations

ESPN staff
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Sir Alex Ferguson is upset about Tottenham's signing of Zeki Fryers © PA Photos
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Tottenham Hotspur have defended their methods in signing Zeki Fryers from Standard Liege after Sir Alex Ferguson accused the club of a 'blatant manipulation of the rules'.

The England youth international is a product of United's academy but left Old Trafford last July and after a potential move to Spurs was broken off, he ultimately joined Standard Liege.

But after just half a season at the Belgian side it was announced this week that the 20-year-old had reached an agreement with Tottenham for a return to the Premier League, infuriating Ferguson.

The United boss expressed his disappointed at how he believed Spurs, and in particular chairman Daniel Levy, had behaved and encouraged football's authorities to block the player's registration until an investigation has been carried out.

But Tottenham insist that Fryers' switch back to England is down to Standard's sacking of their manager in November, and a bout of homesickness.

"Zeki Fryers was out of contract in the summer," explained a Tottenham spokesman. "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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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