Manchester United outcast imminently set to replace £20m Liverpool newbie

Bebe

Reports in Portugal suggest Bebe will be a Benfica player by the end of the day - replacing Liverpool newbie Lazar Markovic.

The word flop is often bandied around in football in the modern era, but it would be hard to find another word to describe the career of Portuguese attacker Bebe at Manchester United.

Bebe was infamously signed by Sir Alex Ferguson for £7.4 million in 2010 in a sensational transfer - not least because Sir Alex Ferguson had to admit he had never seen him play and his transfer was at the recommendation of Carlos Quieroz.

However Bebe never looked like making the grade with the club and a loan-spell with Besiktas ended in injury and discipline nightmare.

After a spell at Rio Ave last term he again returned to Portugal on loan last season - with Pacos de Ferreira.

And he had an excellent season, especially toward the second half of the campaign.

He scored 11 goals in the 27 regular season games he played for Pacos. He also scored twice in cup competitions and he also scored in the relegation play-off decider against Desportivo Aves.

His form was exceptional toward the end of the season, scoring 12 goals in the 17 games since the turn of 2014.

But his United career, despite talk of a Portuguese call-up for the World Cup this summer, appears over. He told United fans at a recent reserve game against Southport that he wanted out and according to all the main Portuguese papers this morning that move is imminent.

Bebe looks set to join Benfica, potentially on a free transfer, from Manchester United.

Interestingly it would appear that this expensive Manchester United flop will in fact be replacing a recent Liverpool signing. Benfica sold Lazar Markovic, himself a versatile attacker, to the Anfield club in a £20 million move earlier this month.

It certainly fits in with the Portuguese model to sell big and buy low, and based on last season Benfica are getting a great deal. While Bebe was scoring his impressive 14 goals last season, for a team who battled relegation for most of the campaign, Markovic managed just six by comparison. Bebe has four years advantage on Markovic, and in terms of individual talent it is hard to suggest that Bebe is better than Markovic, but it is also hard not to suggest Benfica have pulled off great business by bringing in perhaps one of the Portuguese League's star players of last season - and selling Markovic for such a big fee.

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