Telegraph Sport understands that Gestifute, headed by Jorge Mendes, the representative of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho, received its share of Bébé’s transfer fee following United’s direct payment to Guimarães, who signed the 20 year-old from Estrela da Amadora following the cancellation of his contract due to non-payment of wages just two months earlier.

A spokesperson for Manchester United insisted on Wednesday that “Manchester United made no payments to any agent” in order to conclude the transfer of Bébé, who marked his full debut for the club with a goal in the 3-2 Carling Cup victory against Wolves on Tuesday.

United became the sole owners of Bébé’s registration following his transfer in August, but while dual ownership of players contravenes Premier League regulations, the practice is common and within the rules in Europe and South America.

Bébé’s move to United has been dogged by controversy, with Old Trafford manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitting that he had not seen the player play before sanctioning the purchase.

Ferguson then hit out at what he described as “vicious” attempts to undermine the player amid accusations that he was not even good enough to play for United’s reserves.

United could have signed the player for nothing when he became a free agent following the breaking of his contract with Amadora.

But Bébé’s move to Guimarães was swiftly followed by interest from a host of leading clubs, with an unnamed Turkish club prepared to pay €6 million for a 50 per cent share of Bébé prior to United’s move.

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