Date: 7th November 2006 at 3:19pm
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After the Obi Mikel-saga, it’s a relief to know we signed a young player who really wants to play here. Evandro Brandao, joined from Walsall in October, is a United fan, according to his former club’s recruitment officer who also admitted that selling him was inevitable.

‘If we had stopped him going, which we could have done, he would probably have gone at the end of the year,’ Bill Jones said.

‘It’s the same as the professionals. But in all academies there are proper procedures for boys transferring from one club to another and we just followed that route. We will get compensation. It’s not unusual in youth football. It is unusual in that it’s Manchester United interested and not one of the smaller clubs.

‘He was spotted by Man United and they wrote and asked if they could have a look at him in the school holidays. We said ‘no problem’. He is a Man United nut – he lives and breathes them. He loved his time with them and they liked him. They then had a tournament not long back – the Nike Tournament in Manchester – and they asked if they could have permission to play him in that. We gave it and I went along and watched. To be fair, he was among the top two or three players there.

‘We’re losing a very good player. But, that said, the finance that we’ll gain helps towards the running of the centre of excellence which takes an enormous amount.’

Everything seems legal and proper and lovely – good luck with your centre of excellence!