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The Toe Poke
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By ESPN Staff

Lyon to join Liverpool in race for Heinze?

Lyon may join Liverpool in the race to sign Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze as they try to come to terms with the loss of captain Cris for six months.

The Brazilian centre-back was carried off on a stretcher during Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Toulouse after a clash with Les Violets striker Johan Elmander.

The likes of Paris St Germain's Mario Yepes and Jean-Alain Boumsong, of Juventus, have been linked with the French champions as a replacement for Cris.

But Manchester United defender Heinze looks to be Lyon coach Alain Perrin's ideal choice.

``He has the profile,'' the former Sochaux boss said of the Argentina international, who can play at left-back or centre-half.

``It is necessary to know if the player, who has spent a large part of his career at left-back, really wants to play regularly at centre-back.''

Heinze is currently involved in a dispute with United, who are refusing to allow the player to move to fellow north-west club Liverpool.

The 29-year-old claims he has a letter from United allowing him to leave Old Trafford for a fee the Merseysiders claim to have met, but the club insist he will not be sold to a close rival.

Heinze is taking the issue to a Premier League arbitration panel on 20 August.

He has played in Ligue 1 before, with Paris St Germain, prior to his departure to Old Trafford in 2004.