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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Baggies confirm Hargreaves talks

West Brom have confirmed they intend to meet with Owen Hargreaves as early as next week as they continue their interest in the former England international.

The Baggies have already been in contact with Hargreaves, who was released by Manchester United after playing only 27 games in the past four years due to chronic knee problems.

Albion's sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth insists West Brom contacted Hargreaves well before the player released his YouTube clips in an attempt to dispel doubts about his fitness.

Ashworth said on his club's official website: "We have been in talks with Owen. He's based over in the United States at the moment so we might try to get to meet him in the next week or so and see if he would consider coming to us.

"If Owen is fit to play Premier League football, it is a no-brainer. Make no mistake, Owen Hargreaves is a fantastic player. He's shown he's a top, top player from his England, Manchester United and Bayern Munich days.

"Obviously, Owen has had a few medical issues over the last few years. But we would be absolutely delighted to get a fit Owen Hargreaves. That would be a wonderful signing for us."

Ashworth added: "The three things we've got going for us are: one, we're in the Premier League, which is attractive in itself; the second thing is we've got a fantastic medical team. We had an unbelievable hit-rate last season in terms of player availability.

"I think that's attractive to Owen, that we've got a proven track record in the last couple of years of maintaining players and keeping them out on the pitch, which is the most important thing.

"Thirdly, we were the first club to contact him. He's told me that, and he appreciates that. I'd like to think we've got a chance - but Owen has plenty of other options as well.''

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