FERGIE HITS BACK AT COLEMAN
confidential and they gave it to the Press. I spoke to Chris
Coleman about the boy at the start of the season and left it
there. I never said another word.
"Then we sent them a letter, containing our bid, signed by
(chief executive) David Gill, not by Alex Ferguson. We did
everything right. By sending a letter we did it
professionally. There won't be another bid. We don't want
any fights. Fulham seem determined to keep the boy so there
is nothing we can do about that."
Coleman took the opportunity to keep his name in the press
yesterday with this:
"I've seen all the quotes and the various newspapers from
France. It may get worse before it gets better. But the
bottom line is that myself, the chairman and everyone at the
club all agree that Louis is absolutely not for sale.
"There can be a third, fourth, fifth or sixth bid for Louis
but he's staying here, and that's that. I don't expect it to
be easy between now and the end of the month. It's difficult
for Louis because he thinks the chance to join Manchester
United will never come again.
"But in order for a player to leave the club you need a
buyer and seller. But at the moment there is no seller, and
that's where it ends. It could be different in the summer
but at this moment in time there is no discussion because he
is not for sale.
"It's too critical a stage of the season to sell Louis.
(Chairman) Mohamed al Fayed has said publicly that we won't
be selling Louis Saha. Louis may chuck his toys out of the
pram but it doesn't matter, he's staying with us.
"I think that Louis' agent has acted appallingly in this
whole matter. I know he's been getting into Louis' head. It
was blasted all over the newspapers that I thought Ferguson
was a bully but I meant that Louis' agent was a bully.
"The day an agent comes into my office and tries to tell me
that one of my players will be leaving because it suits them
is the day that I will leave the job. I'll never allow that
to happen - I won't be bullied by an agent or anyone else.
"My players know how important Louis is to us but if I just
lie down and let him go to Manchester United, because he
wants to, how can I look them in the face and tell them I'm
fighting for them and the club?
"I understand Louis saying that he's given a lot to the
club, but the club have given a lot to Louis as well. We
signed him for £2million and I know what we've been offered
for him is a lot more than that, but although he took the
First Division by storm and was outstanding, he was
indifferent for the next two years.
"His form wasn't great and there was a lot of doubt whether
he could cut it in the Premiership, although I always
believed eventually he would. Now he's on fire and has
scored 14 goals.
"He feels that he's been treated badly by the club, but I
disagree with that. We love Louis, the fans love him, and
he's still got a job to do with four months left of the
season. I saw that Louis said after the Boro game he did not
play very well and maybe that was no accident. If he starts
putting in bad performances then he's out of the team - that
doesn't mean we're selling him.”