The Professional Footballers' Association said Thursday that American and longtime Premier League goalkeeper Brad Friedel did not try to inhibit the 2003 transfer of fellow American goalkeeper Tim Howard from MLS to Manchester United.
The PFA is involved in handling appeals if a player does not meet criteria for obtaining a work permit. In a statement, PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor OBE said that Friedel never corresponded with the organization to oppose giving Howard a work permit.
"With regard to the appeal by Manchester United on behalf of Tim Howard, which was successful, we have been asked to confirm that the PFA did not receive any correspondence from Brad Friedel in opposition of Tim Howard's work permit application."
In his new autobiography, The Keeper, Howard claims that Friedel "actively tried to block" his transfer from Major League Soccer's MetroStars to Old Trafford. Manchester United paid a $4 million fee to MLS in 2003 for Howard's services.
Friedel denied the allegation and told ESPN FC he wanted Howard to apologize.
Howard's book is set to be released next Tuesday. According to the Howard's account of the incident, Friedel -- at the time playing for Blackburn Rovers of the Premier League -- refused to sign a statement vouching for Howard and also tried to block his move to Old Trafford.
Friedel told ESPN FC that Howard's story is "complete garbage," and said that he never did anything to jeopardize Howard's transfer to Manchester United.
Friedel is currently a reserve goalkeeper at Tottenham Hotspur, while Howard is the starting goalkeeper at Everton.
Howard made 45 appearances for United before moving permanently to Everton in 2007, where he has played since. Howard was the United States' No. 1 goalkeeper in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.
Friedel, 43, has played professionally in England since 1997. He has suited up for Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur.
- Stanley Kay