Sheffield United: Blades confident Michael Verrips has no case to answer
Sheffield United are confident FIFA will block KV Mechelen's complaint about Michael Verrips' move to Bramall Lane, after taking legal advice before signing the goalkeeper on a four year contract.
The Belgian club have protested to the governing body about Verrips' transfer, which was officially announced by Chris Wilder's side ahead of tomorrow's game against AFC Bournemouth; the first match of the new Premier League campaign.
After his former employers became embroiled in a match-fixing scandal - which resulted in them being banned from European competition next season - Verrips' representatives declared their client's contract had effectively been rendered null and void.
Although United are refusing to comment publicly on the matter, The Star understands they sought expert opinion on the matter before processing the 22-year-old's deal. Discussions with officials at the AFAS-stadion Achter de Kazerne also took place before Verrips was unveiled, although a statement published on Mechelen's official website insists no agreement was reached.
"In recent days, KV Mechelen wanted to offer Michaël Verrips the opportunity to reach an agreement and work out a correct transfer to Sheffield United," it read. "After many promises from the entourage of Michaël Verrips, KV Mechelen only received a concrete offer from Sheffield United on Wednesday evening, one day before the closing of the incoming transfer market in the Premier League.
"Despite contacts with Sheffield United, the English club suddenly withdrew the bid on Thursday afternoon to announce it a few hours later as an incoming transfer from a free player."
"Michaël Verrips unilaterally broke his agreement with KV Mechelen," it continued. "We therefore take the necessary steps at FIFA."
Verrips, who started his career with FC Twente before spells with Jong Sparta and Sparta Rotterdam, joined Mechelen last summer. A former Netherlands youth international, he is scheduled to travel to Dorset with his new team mates later today.
Meanwhile, Sheffield United Women have added former Liverpool and Bristol City full-back Ali Johnson to their squad, with the England under-20 international becoming manager Carla Ward’s summer signing.