United risk Uefa ruling with latest Italian raid

Fiorentina outraged at champions’ attempt to sign national Under-16 defender

Manchester United are facing an official complaint to Uefa from the Serie A club Fiorentina after their latest move to sign young Italian talent, the national Under-16 captain Michele Fornasier.

Fornasier is 16 next week and already established at United, having played for them during the Milk Cup tournament in Northern Ireland this month. United have subsequently offered the defender a contract, much to the displeasure of Fiorentina, who, under Italian rules, are unable to sign players until their 16th birthday. It was the same loophole which enabled United to sign Federico Macheda from Lazio two years ago, incurring the wrath of the Italian side when he burst into the United first team last season.

Meanwhile, there were ominous words yesterday for Birmingham City, the side first up against the Premier League's defending champions on Sunday. The United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, served notice that his side had spent the summer stewing over the memory of the devastating 2-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League final in Rome in May.

"When you lose the last game of the season you have two or three months to reflect on the disappointment and we haven't enjoyed that," Ferguson said. "Adversity is always an important factor in developing and improving," Ferguson said. "I've always reacted well to adversity over the years and whenever we lose a match I tell my players that the next game is the important one – that's the match we have to focus on. That's always been the case here at this club."

Ferguson has his share of injury concerns going into the Birmingham match. Centre-back Jonny Evans left the Northern Ireland squad and returned to Manchester nursing an ankle injury yesterday. That compounds the defensive situation, with Nemanja Vidic already out with a calf injury, though Wes Brown, who sustained a thigh injury last month, may return. Gary Neville is also struggling with a groin strain.

There are suggestions Ben Foster may also be fit, despite pulling out of England's friendly in the Netherlands with a knee injury, and Nani managed a 17-minute substitute appearance for Portugal against Liechtenstein, casting aside fears he dislocated his shoulder in the Community Shield on Sunday. Michael Owen is also desperate for some involvement at Old Trafford on Sunday. "Our approach to him has been to say, 'Enjoy being here, enjoy the training' and he has not missed a single session yet," Ferguson said.

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments