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.

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect