Saturday, January 06, 2007
Hargreaves can go for 30 million euros
Bayern Munich president Franz Beckenbauer opened the door Friday for Manchester United to sign England midfielder Owen Hargreaves, but only if they stump up 30 million euros. Beckenbauer said in sports newspaper Bild that it would take an offer of that size to tempt the German double-winners into selling.
"If Manchester United came to see us with that offer of 30 million euros that everyone is talking about, we would have to think about it," Beckenbauer wrote.
"That is a figure that would allow us to be active in the transfer market."
Until now, Bayern have stoically refused to do business with United over a player whose stock rose hugely during last year's World Cup, particularly during England's quarter-final defeat, on penalties, to Portugal.
With Wayne Rooney sent-off, Hargreaves seemed to take on the role of two men to make light England's numerical disadvantage.
However, the Kaiser's comments come in stark contrast to the position held by Bayern's general manager Karl-Heinz Rummenigge since United first made inquiries about the Canadian-born player before the season began.
Rummenigge claimed in August that Hargreaves was not for sale and warned the midfielder about his conduct after the England man went on record saying he wanted to join United.
Only last month, Hargreaves said his desire to join United was related to a wish to play in the league whose national team he represents and was not financially motivated, something Beckenbauer disputes.
"It is normal to want to keep a player who has just extended his contract and who only wants to join another club because they will pay him better," added Beckenbauer.
Hargreaves, who has been out injured since September after breaking his leg, joined Bayern in 1997 and last season signed a contract extension taking him through to 2010.
But last month he said of his desire to join United: "It's about the opportunity to possibly play in another league I haven't played in before, which is also the country I represent and where my family lives.
"If people don't understand that, I don't expect them to. It's not their life. It's mine. But I don't think anyone in the football world is in the same situation as mine.
"But it's not like I'm saying I want to go to AC Milan or Inter Milan because they're offering me more money.
"It's because it's England and because Britain is where my family is. My parents and my brothers are in Canada, but the whole of my dad's side of the family is in Bolton and my mum's side is in Rhyl.
"I think some people don't realise that. They think I'm half-German or something, but I'm not. I was brought up by a British family. It just happened to be in Canada."