A quiet word on the side about a Sugar'd deal

"Come in, Sol, take off your baseball cap, pull up a cigar and sit down."

"I don't smoke."

"Of course you don't. Just checking. It's in your contract you can't smoke, section five, paragraph 17, so if you'd taken one I could have had you for breach of contract, just as we had wassisname. Graham George, was he called? I'm new here. In fact, we're all new here. Fresh out of the city."

"Coventry City or Manchester City?"

"City of London, old boy."

"Which league are they in?"

"League of Gentlemen, of course, boom boom. Now, you're probably wondering why I've asked you in."

"As it happens, no."

"Look, why don't you take that cap off. Relax, chill out. Glass of champagne?"

"I don't drink."

"Oh really. Then what do you do with all those player of the month awards? I know a good home for them, har har."

"I can only spare five minutes. Got people to talk to . . ."

"Ah, but you can't, not to any British clubs, not yet. Under the Busman rule, clause 15, par . . ."

"Bosman . . ."

"Bushman, Busman, Beggarman, Thief, does it matter? Look, Sol, I want to be honest with you. The board has asked me to find out what it is you want. So, come on, what would you like?"

"A good team, and a good manager. That's about it, really."

"Solly, Solly, we are speaking the same language already. That's exactly what we want. So just sign here. Three-year contract, £50,000 a week. Let me hold the pen for you . . ."

"I'm not signing nothing. I don't have to. I'm seeing my contract out. I follow the rules, unlike some people . . ."

"We made you, Sol."

"Made me what?"

"Made you into the star you are today. You were nothing, till Spurs found you."

"Not surprising, as I was only eight."

"Yes, but we made you a trainee at 15. We trained you, right. Then in 1992 we made you a professional. Would you have got in the England team playing for the Dog and Duck in Newham? Admit it, Sol, you owe us a damn lot."

"I owe nothing. I've more than paid back, suffering these last eight years. I was green then, but not any more."

"Oh, so you're not going to Celtic. That's a relief."

"I might."

"So you've been talking to them? We could have you for that. You wouldn't be happy with them anyway. You wouldn't fit in at Celtic, Sol. You're not a left-footer."

"Spot on. I'm right-footed."

"I mean the sash my father wore, get my drift. This is all private, by the way. Any leaks and you'll be sacked . . ."

"Suits me fine, as I'm going at the end of the season."

"What I'm saying, Sol, is you belong here, you're one of us."

"No, I'm a footballer. I belong to my career."

"I always thought from your name, Solomon . . . ?"

"You thought wrong. But it would be useful at Arsenal as well."

"Don't mention that word. OK, then, £100,000 a week. Plus another million in your pension fund. You won't be 26 for ever. Tell you what, we'll throw in another Ferrari. I know you've two already, plus the Merc, but you can't have your gardener driving around in a year-old Jag . . ."

"Nope."

"How about a nice foreign club? We can let you have Vincenza, AEK Athens or Basle. We want shot of them, I mean we want shot for buying them. Take your pick."

"I've got a pick."

"Nice one, Sol . . . OK, then, how about White Hart Lane? We're moving soon, now we've sold the pitch to Safeway's. Shush, that's a secret. You could have the West Stand to park your cars on match days . . ."

"Yeh, I suppose it could be handy for Saturday afternoons, if I was playing not far away. At Highbury, for example . . ."

"I said don't mention that. All right, Sol. You win. I'll give you what I know you really, really want."

"Try me."

"Do you know why we sacked howsyourfather? Why we engineered that little splat? So we could give it to the right man for the job. Someone free at the end of the season, with no need to pay compensation to another club for stealing their manager . . ."

"Who?"

"You, you schmuck. Sol, baby, you're the one. Congratulations. You'll be the only player-manager in the Premier League. And there's a pile of money here, just for you. We were lying to Georgy. For you to spend as you like, know what I mean . . ."

"Which piles? Where are they? Show me."

"Here, look, in this safe, shitloads of money. We found it after Sugar went. Just don't tell the supporters . . ."

"Open the safe door wider."

"No problem, but if you took that stupid cap off you'd see better."

"Cheers. Right, I will take my special baseball cap off now. I've finished filming. That should about look after my pension money . . ."