Mon, Aug 03, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Le Havre furious with United over signing of Pogba

AP , LE HAVRE, FRANCE

French club Le Havre is furious with Manchester United for signing Paul Pogba, accusing the Premier League champions of stealing the 16-year-old midfielder by offering his parents large amounts of money.

Le Havre, relegated to the second division last season, said on its Web site that an agreement was already in place — between Pogba, his parents and the French club — for the player to stay until the end of the 2009-2010 campaign.

But Le Havre said Man United offered Pogba’s parents a significant amount of money to sign the player and break the agreement.

“Le Havre wishes to express its indignation regarding the dealings of Manchester United’s directors in relation to the young Paul Pogba,” the club said in a statement. “The player and his parents refused to keep the arrangement because Manchester United offered very high sums of money to the parents of the [player] with the aim of obtaining the transfer of their son.”

Le Havre, which has groomed players such as Real Madrid’s Lassana Diarra and Wigan’s Charles N’Zogbia, has called on soccer authorities to intervene with stronger laws preventing similar transfers of young players in the future.

“This foolish act is even more unacceptable because it comes from a club with such stature,” Le Havre said. “At a time when numerous parties — including at European Union level, governmental [level], or within FIFA or UEFA — are speaking out against the ‘trading of minors,’ Manchester United does not hesitate to uproot a 16-year-old kid.”

Pogba is one of the most highly rated young players in France and has captained the national team at under-16 level.

Le Havre have one of the best youth training programs in the country.

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