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By ESPN Staff

Bayern chief hints at Hargreaves U-turn

BERLIN, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich director of football Uli Hoeness has quashed England midfielder Owen Hargreaves's hopes of joining Manchester United in the transfer window. But a future sale was not completely ruled out by Hoeness, who said: 'If we believe at some point we have found a replacement for Owen who perhaps costs less than we'd get for him, then we would perhaps think about it.'

Hargreaves extended his contract with Bayern in October 2005 until after the 2010 season.

'Nothing's going to happen during the winter transfer window,' Hoeness told German television. 'We've got Real Madrid in the Champions League and we're not going to weaken the team. We're not a bank, but rather a football club.'

Hargreaves, who suffered a broken left fibula on Sept. 17 and has not played since, has repeatedly urged Bayern executives to sell him to United after the English club made a determined bid to sign him after the World Cup.

'Our top priority is: what can I do to strengthen the team? What good is it going to do me to have 30 million (euros) more in the bank?

'We want to advance far in the Champions League, we want to catch Werder Bremen and Schalke in the Bundesliga -- and we need Owen Hargreaves for that,' added Hoeness.