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By ESPN Staff
Aug 26, 2007

Heinze demanded wages be doubled - Fergie

Gabriel Heinze delivered a 'double my money or flog me' ultimatum to Sir Alex Ferguson just 24 hours before suffering his career-threatening knee injury in 2005.

Heinze had only been at Manchester United for just over a year when he made his demands, which have been revealed by Ferguson in the aftermath of the Argentina defender's acrimonious Old Trafford departure.

The 29-year-old was sold to Real Madrid earlier this week but not before he had faced Ferguson at a Premier League inquiry and pleaded to be cleared to join Liverpool

That appeal was rejected, although the fall-out from the row will continue for some while yet as United investigate whether Liverpool made an illegal approach to the former Paris St Germain player.

The controversy surrounding Heinze's exit has saddened fans who loved the full-back's all-action style.

But Ferguson has now claimed the player's agent was agitating for a move virtually as soon as he had arrived.

'We signed Gaby in July 2004 and he immediately went off to play for the Argentina Olympic team, and then onto some World Cup qualifiers,' Ferguson told MUTV.

'We didn't get him until September, so in that first year he probably played about five months.

'At the start of the following season, a day before he suffered his cruciate injury against Villarreal, his agent came to see me and said he either wanted a transfer or for me to double his wages. That immediately sent out the wrong signal.

'Throughout his rehabilitation, his agent was asking me to sell him.

'You wonder whether the lad actually wants to play for you and in the end, you just give in.'