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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say

Sir Alex confirms Hargreaves exit

Owen Hargreaves will not be offered a new contract by Manchester United when his current deal expires at the end of next month.

Hargreaves, a £17 million signing from Bayern Munich four years ago, has seen his last three seasons ruined by tendinitis in both knees. He has tried many comebacks but most have lasted just minutes.

It leaves an uncertain future for the 30-year-old, who was an integral part of the England squad until the injury problems struck. It will be a brave club that offers the midfielder anything other than a pay-as-you-play deal due to his horrific recent record.

He made 36 appearances in the 2007-08 season before the problems began. In 2008-09 he appeared just three times for United and in 2009-10 he played just once, as a 90th minute substitute at Sunderland.

It was hoped he would come back stronger this term, but his comeback against Wolves in November was aborted after just nine minutes when he was replaced by Bebe.

Sir Alex Ferguson told the Mail on Sunday: "This has been a difficult decision knowing how hard the lad has worked to win back his fitness.

"But we have made it in the hope he will be able to resurrect his career elsewhere."


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