Roy Keane has no time for anyone who thinks that Ronaldinho's decision to head for Barcelona rather than Old Trafford was Manchester United's loss. "Anyone who doesn't want to come to Manchester United needs their head examining," is his typically forthright view.
Sir Alex Ferguson spent months trying to lure the flamboyant Brazilian away from Paris Saint-Germain, and Ronaldinho gave every impression himself that Old Trafford was the place he wanted to be. Then he signed for Barcelona.
"I don't want to be disrespectful to anyone, but any player who doesn't really want to come to Manchester United needs their head examining," Keane told Manchester United TV. "Obviously there are agents and other people involved, but to me Manchester United is the only choice, and that's above any other club in the world."
Ferguson could yet add a Brazilian international to his squad, so long as Kleberson really is committed to signing, and provided he can secure a work permit.
The rumours surrounding a move by Newcastle United's Kieron Dyer were cranked up yesterday when the New-castle chief executive, Freddy Shepherd, flew to Los Angeles at a time when United were due in town for the second game of their US tour against Mexico's Club America at the Coliseum today. Doubts about the move centre on Ferguson's willingness to pay £25m for a player who appears susceptible to injury.
Chelsea and their billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich, were also linked with Dyer, but if he went to United that might rekindle the possibility of Juan Sebastian Veron going to Stamford Bridge.
Another player thought to be interesting the west London club, Roy Makaay, could be leaving Deportivo La Coruña for Bayern Munich, although the Germans are a little perplexed by the absence of any response to their approach. "We made an offer two weeks ago, which was under €18 million (£12m), and since we have not heard anything," Uli Hoeness, Bayern's commercial manager, said.
But Makaay, top scorer in the Spanish First Division last season with 29 goals, told a Munich newspaper: "My goal for the upcoming season is to be as valuable for Bayern as I was for Deportivo. I'm certain that I will have a lot of fun in the Bundesliga."
Life as a striker can be confusing, even if you are not looking for a move. Birmingham's Stern John, who hit the headlines for not scoring against Newcastle in the Asia Cup when confronted by an open goal, proved that he can hit the target by scoring with the first two goals in a 4-0 win over Malaysia.
"I feel a bit better. I missed an easy chance in the first game and I think I've made up for it today," the Trinidad and Tobago international said. "I got a lot of stick from the guys, and walking round town last night everyone was just laughing at me - but I feel better now. I wanted to score tonight to give myself confidence going into the season."
Goals from Stephen Clemence and Bryan Hughes in the last 15 minutes wrapped up the win, but there was also bad news for Birmingham's manager, Steve Bruce. The French striker Christophe Dugarry missed the match because of what Bruce described as "a slightly sore knee". The French World Cup winner, who was substituted after an hour in Birmingham's defeat by Newcastle on Thursday, is expected to recover quickly.
Abel Xavier, the Portuguese defender, has been on a year's loan from Liverpool to Galatasaray, but the Turkish club will not be keeping him any longer.Reuse content