Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted Manchester United decided to sign Bebe as other clubs were beginning to show interest.
Bebe, 20, is joining from Portuguese club Vitoria de Guimaraes after United agreed to pay his release clause, believed to be in the region of £7 million. He had signed from Estrela da Amadora in the Portuguese third division only five weeks earlier.
“It’s one of these things that when you identify someone of potential we normally would assess over a longer period but we do scout Portugal and he’s very bright and he’s got tremendous instinct,” he said. “He’s two footed and he’s very quick. There’s material there.
“Other clubs were starting to hover on the boy and so we made a quick decision and said, ‘Well, why don’t we go for it?’ He’s got material and I’m sure we can work with that. He’s young and we’re good at young players really, so that’s the reason.”
Bebe played football in a homeless team during a brief spell living on the streets.
“It is a fairytale when you read about his background, but it is one of those things that happens when you identify someone with potential,” added Ferguson.
“He doesn’t speak any English, so that needs to be addressed, and we need to allow him to settle in, but sometimes you have to work on an impulse.”