Date: 20th January 2007 at 10:25am
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Things are getting confusing in the Owen Hargreaves-story. Yesterday, it had been widely reported that United made an official £19.7m bid for the player but Bayern rejected it. Now the Guardian writes Gill are about to fax an £18m offer to Bayern…

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge yesterday stressed, after learning of United’s £19.7m bid that they would not sell Hargreaves in January but he did not rule out the possibility of a summer move.

Now the paper claims that Gill believes the Bayern hierarchy are not in agreement between themselves – that is clear, as Beckenbauer’s lenient stance over the case was immediately rejected by Uli Hoeness who, contrary to the World Cup-winner president, said even a £20m offer would not break their resistance.

Hargreaves himself started full training and aims to play on the day when the Bundesliga resumes. He’s still desperate for a move but his chances are hurt by the fact Sebastian Deisler announced his retirement after a succession of knee operations and psychological problems and Hasan Salihamidzic signed a deal with Juventus that will take him to Italy at the end of this season.

Still, none of them is a defensive midfielder so they were not Hargreaves’ alternatives and maybe the money raised from the sale of Owen could be used by Bayern to secure their replacements. If their chiefs think along these lines – of course it’s impossible to say how they think – then we have a good chance of buying him – for £18m, if we can believe the Guardian.

Surely, either yesterday’s alleged official bid was only a false rumour or the Guardian got it wrong this time. I can hardly imagine United coming back with a bid that amounts to less than the initial one, which had been rejected…