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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Hargreaves closing in on Man Utd move?

Owen Hargreaves has refused to rule out the possibility of a move to Manchester United.

The England midfielder confirmed earlier this week that he was closer to leaving Bayern Munich for the Premiership than he had ever been.

However, fresh reports have emerged in Germany claiming the 25-year-old is mulling over an offer to join United, even though Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness has stated firmly the Bundesliga champions have no intention of releasing one of their star men.

Hargreaves was alerted to the content of the article by telephone yesterday, just hours before his man of the match performance in the 4-0 win over Greece at Old Trafford.

But, while claiming sections of its content may be inaccurate, he opted not to play down the United aspect of it.

'I have not read the article,' he said. 'It is the way it always is with these things. Some of it is accurate, some of it is not.

'I cannot go into specifics but we will see how things pan out over the next few days.'

On last night's evidence, any potential suitors may have to cough up slightly more for the Canada-born player than they bargained for.

Just as he did in the latter stages of England's ill-fated World Cup campaign, Hargreaves excelled in the midfield holding role, showing the discipline to remain in defence as the likes of Gary Neville and Ashley Cole pushed forward, while also covering the forward thrusts of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

New England coach Steve McClaren has already hinted he may build a team around Hargreaves and could not have been more fulsome in his praise for the player.

'Owen was phenomenal,' he said. 'He set the standard for the others to follow in his attitude and whole game and both Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard followed him.'

By the time England next gather, for the opening Euro 2008 qualifier against Andorra on September 2, Hargreaves' short term future should be decided.

Although he has only just signed a contract at Bayern that would keep him at the club until 2010, he is clearly considering the prospect of riding the wave of his new-found popularity all the way to the Premiership.

'I am at a great club in Bayern Munich,' he said.

'They have been great to me over the last few years.

'But with the World Cup and the way I played there, there has been more attention on me and people are interested.

'I don't want to go into things too much but it is just a case of waiting until the transfer deadline on August 31 and seeing how things pan out.'