The Sweeper: Sir Alex Ferguson moved for Kagawa despite 'lukewarm' scouting reports
The Japanese star was tracked for several months by the club but it was the Manchester United manager who had the final say in bringing him to Old Trafford
FERGUSON THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND KAGAWA U-TURN
Manchester United’s PR machine moved quickly earlier this week to refute claims that new-boy Shinji Kagawa had been signed only as a money-making manoeuvre.
But the signing of the Japanese playmaker, which is subject to obtaining a work permit, is understood to have been driven purely by the club’s senior executives.
It is standard procedure for big-money foreign transfers – Kagawa’s move could be worth up to £17million – to be the result of extensive scouting and double-checking.
While the capture of Kagawa cannot be compared to the 2010 signing of misfit Bebe, who Sir Alex Ferguson watched only on video before sanctioning a £7.2m move, it is believed to have raised eyebrows in some sections of Old Trafford.
The Sweeper has been told that initial scouting reports on the 23-year-old 12 months ago were “lukewarm”, with particular doubt cast on whether he had the physique to be a force in the Premier League.
There was little urgency to pushing through a deal until Ferguson personally watched him deliver a match-winning display for Borussia Dortmund in their emphatic 5-2 win over Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal final last month.
While it is standard procedure for Ferguson to have the last say on signings, the scouting dossiers would make purely interesting reading should Kagawa not cut it at Old Trafford.
- Wayne Veysey | Chief correspondent
LEAVIN' FOR LAS VEGAS
A prolific former Premier League striker will be heading for the party capital of Las Vegas next week for what promises to be a lively stag do.
The ex-forward, now in his fifth decade and well known in football circles, will be tying the knot a few weeks later.