Carlos Queiroz has claimed that he knew absolutely nothing about Bebe when he signed for Manchester United in 2010.
The Portuguese winger was one of the most controversial and somewhat baffling transfers Sir Alex Ferguson made during his 27-year reign at Old Trafford. The Manchester United legend later admitted he signed Bebe despite never seeing him play football.
Having paid £7.4 million to sign him from Vitoria de Guimaraes, who had signed him just weeks earlier on a free transfer, it quickly became evident that he was not up to standard for the Red Devils. He never made a Premier League start, but remained on the books at Manchester United until this summer when he was sold to Benfica for £2.4 million.
As the circumstances around the transfer were so abnormal plenty of fans and pundits alike theorised as to why he was signed. One suggestion is that Queiroz, who had two spells as Ferguson's assistant manager and firm favourite of the Scot, asked the manager to sign him. Another was that Jorge Mendes, who represents both Queiroz and Bebe, was heavily involved.
"I called my coaches and asked them was what going on, why he didn't exist. I knew nothing about him."
But Queiroz, who was manager of the Portuguese national team at the time, told FourFourTwo: "Bebe was not even part of our scouting files for the national team of Portugal. He didn't exist, in a system where nothing escaped us.
- Bebe tipped to follow same path as Nemanja Matic
- Benfica confirm Bebe signing
- Bebe to leave Manchester United for Benfica
"So Bebe going to Man United took me by surprise. I called my coaches and asked them was what going on, why he didn't exist. I knew nothing about him."
Bebe was sent on three individual loan spells during his time with Manchester United, originally leaving for Besiktas before joining Rio Ave and Pacos Ferreira. Neither of the former clubs enjoyed Bebe at his best but the latter saw him develop into a key player.
The 24-year-old score 13 goals in just 23 starts last season, inspiring Portuguese champions to take him off United's hands on a permanent basis. However, he is yet to appear in a league game for the club.