Spurs had been Fryers’ first choice destination after he had rejected a contract from his boyhood club, where reports suggested he had been offered as much as £20k-a-week, in stark contrast to the apparent £2k-a-week United offered. However, United were demanding £6m for him and Spurs were not prepared to pay it.
“United offered a three-year contract but I rejected the offer,” Fryers told FourFourTwo last month. “Spurs were interested but the fee [that United requested] was too much. Then Standard Liege arrived with a good opportunity for me to play regular games and get experience.”
Had Fryers moved to an English club a tribunal would have decided how much United were owed for developing him as a youngster. In contrast, as Fryers moved aborad, the fee the Belgian club had to pay was minimal.
It begs the question whether Spurs came to an agreement with Standard Liege in the summer to ensure they got the player at a cut down price during the January transfer window. The transfer fee Spurs have reportedly paid is £3m, half as much as United originally quoted, which also gives Standard Liege a tidy profit.
A statement on the Tottenham website read: “We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Standard Liege for the signing of Zeki Fryers. The young defender, capped by England at Under-16, 17 and 19 level, began his career at Manchester United before joining Standard Liege last summer. Zeki will link up with the Club’s Development Squad.”