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Man United accused

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Manchester United stand accused of trying to sell David Beckham like a "second-hand car" by Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor.

The Premiership champions announced they had agreed, in principle, to sell the England captain to Barcelona subject to presidential candidate Joan Laporta winning the club's elections on Sunday.

Beckham, through his advisors, has given notice of his opposition to the deal, and Taylor claims he is stunned by the way United are handling the situation.

"I can't see him agreeing to go anywhere - as one of the world's finest players, never mind one of Manchester United's finest players - that doesn't suit him," Taylor told Manchester radio station GMR.

He added: "It's not a way I'd like to be treated. He's one of our finest members and he's been so loyal to Manchester United over the years, giving them so much in terms of footballing ability.

"I just find it incredulous that a club of Manchester United's stature should be issuing official statements with a person who is not officially in charge at Barcelona.

"And to use David's name really, as has happened before in Spain with other clubs, with the intent of winning an election for president of the club is wrong.

"For Manchester United to become embroiled in that I don't think does them any credit.

"From David's point of view it's harping back to many times past in the bad old days when it was just a matter for a club to decide whether a player goes or stays."

Beckham's advisors revealed that the 28-year-old was "very disappointed and surprised" that he was being used as a "political pawn" in the Barcelona elections.

"Things have moved on and it's not the way I would want one of my members even in the lowest club in the Third Division to be treated," said Taylor.

"You wouldn't want to sell your second-hand car in such a way, never mind one of your finest assets.

"Surely you would expect with someone like David Beckham, the club to get together and be issuing joint statements if it's been decided that there will be a parting of the ways.

"This has happened before with other players who have chosen to stay at a club. It takes two to tango these days. I just find it obviously inflammatory and maybe done with a purpose but it doesn't settle well."