UK work permit problems dashed footballer's 'dream deal'

29 Jan 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Problems with acquiring a UK work permit reportedly dashed the chance of a dream transfer deal for one Russian footballer.

CSKA Moscow star Pavel Mamaev revealed that he almost secured a transfer deal to Manchester United last summer, but his failure to obtain a work permit meant that things collapsed at the last minute.

The work permit was not allocated because Mamaev's limited number of caps for his home country of Russia meant that he didn't meet the minimum requirements. He was called up to join the national team in 2009 and made his debut in 2010 and took his last caps back in 2011.

However, overall the midfielder has only these two caps for Russia and has never properly graduated from the Under-21s setup, although he has been praised as one to watch for the future.

“I was in shock, it was such a dream transfer,” Mamaev enthused to Russian media. But he went on to explain: “The deal was around 80 per cent complete, but with my limited number of caps for Russia, I couldn't get a work permit.”

He added that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had promised that a solution would be found to the immigration issue. However, there was no further communication on this issue, according to Mamaev, who added: “Sir Alex Ferguson said he would try and solve it, but the contact never came again.”

Mamaev, who is now 24, is thought to be keen to make a transfer away from his hometeam of CSKA Moscow this summer in order to increase his chances of building up a reputation within the international football scene. He has already been linked with Chelsea and Lazio, and Manchester United's favours should ensure that he is in demand.