Fergie on the de Laet signing
Posted by nickogs20 on January 9, 2009
Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken briefly about the signing of Ritchie de Laet in his press conference today.
“He’s just a young player, we knew him at Antwerp, when we had players over there. It’s not worked out for him at Stoke so we’ve taken him for a short term loan, it’s not a big issue, we’ll see how he does, the boy.”
His comments contradict what was widely reported yesterday with regards to the terms of the deal, which was that it was a permanent deal on a performance-related package, with the player signing a three-year deal. Sir Alex’s comments that the young Belgian is on loan would imply that de Laet may only be with the club until the end of the season, perhaps with an option to sign him at the end of that (which may be when the performance-related transfer deal comes in).
To further confuse things, De Standaard – widely regarded as Belgium’s number one newspaper – has stated (rough translation) “Manchester United are initially taking over Ritchie’s contract with Stoke City until the end of the season”. That would imply a ‘permanent deal’, at least as far as de Laet no longer being a Stoke player goes.
Chances are the full conditions of the deal may take a while to come to light, if indeed they ever do, so we’ll have to play it by ear.