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Rediff.com  » Sports » Hargreaves to join Man United

Hargreaves to join Man United

May 20, 2007 19:08 IST

Bayern Munich have reached a transfer agreement with Manchester United for England midfielder Owen Hargreaves, Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer said on Sunday.

"Owen is leaving. That was the player's wish. It's a good match and it's also a good deal financially," Beckenbauer told Germany's DSF sports television network.

Beckenbauer did not directly confirm media reports that Bayern will get 25 million euros ($33.75 million) for the Canadian-born Hargreaves. But he did say: "It's in that range."

If confirmed, it would be the highest fee ever for a Bundesliga player.

Hargreaves, 26, has been pleading with Bayern executives to let him go to United all season in a disappointing year both for him and the club.

Bayern finished fourth in the Bundesliga and without any silverware after back-to-back league and Cup doubles.

Bayern had previously rejected United's efforts to acquire Hargreaves before the season and during the mid-season transfer window, saying they were not a bank and needed him.

Beckenbauer, however, had openly urged his fellow Bayern executives Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to reconsider if the price was right -- arguing that Bayern could use the funds for their own acquisitions.

Hargreaves played in only nine of 34 Bundesliga matches this season, plus five of their games 10 in the Champions League and one of their three German Cup matches. He did not score.

Former Bayern coach Felix Magath had hoped Hargreaves could fill the big gap left by Michael Ballack, who went to Chelsea after the end of last season.

But Hargreaves did not come close, even before breaking his left fibula on Sept. 17 and missing much of the season.

German media reports said that Hargreaves will sign a four-year agreement worth seven million euros per year at United.

Hargreaves is the fifth confirmed Bayern departure after the season that ended on Saturday.

Mehmet Scholl retired, Hasan Salihamidzic will transfer to Juventus while Ali Karimi and Claudio Pizarro will also be leaving -- to destinations still not known.

Hargreaves was outstanding in England's World Cup quarter-final last year against Portugal, lost on penalties.

In England, he won the fans' vote as England Player of the Year 2006, the Football Association (FA) said in January after he had already been voted England's best player of the World Cup in Germany by supporters.

Hargreaves received 29 percent of the vote, beating fellow midfielder Steven Gerrard (18) and striker Peter Crouch (15).

Hargreaves is seen as an outstanding holding midfielder, a position currently occupied at United by Michael Carrick who joined the club from Tottenham Hotspur last July.

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