Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has hit back at Juan Sebastian Veron's claims that the manager was "two-faced" over the midfielder's £15m move to Chelsea.
Ferguson insists Veron was always in the picture
Veron claims that Ferguson initially rejected two bids from Chelsea - saying the midfielder was still wanted at Old Trafford - but then changed his mind when Chelsea increased their offer.
But Ferguson has branded the former United midfielder's comments "a disgrace".
"Seba knew all along what was happening, so to say I was two-faced about it
is a disgrace," Ferguson told the Manchester Evening News.
"I spoke to him a few days after we started pre-season training and explained
that we had accepted a bid from Chelsea because I knew we would have an
embarrassment of numbers in midfield.
"At that stage he shook my hand and everything was fine.
"Then Chelsea said they couldn't pay the £15m we had originally agreed
and wouldn't follow through with the offer.
"His agent was still talking to Chelsea down in London and the day before we
were due to leave for America, Seba came and took all his stuff away from the
"We had to telephone him and tell him he was still a Manchester
Ferguson has replaced Veron with £6m Brazilian World Cup winner Kleberson and Cameroon midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba, while 18-year-old Portuguese starlet Cristian Ronaldo
has also confirmed his move to Old Trafford.
But, despite Ferguson's claims to the contrary, Veron felt betrayed by the United manager.
He said: "Ferguson wasn't sincere with me. Two months ago a couple of
clubs expressed an interest and he said I wasn't for sale.
"He gave me the impression I was wanted. But when there was money on the
table his conversation changed. That's a hard one for me.
"The story (that he was going to sign for Chelsea) was running and running
and nobody in Manchester was denying it, so I asked Ferguson 'Do you want me in
"Then he came out with the line about Chelsea's offer being very good,
financially interesting, tempting.
"I realised it was all about money. I said I'm not interested in money, but if
that's what this is about.....
"I guess that was the turning point for me."