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Hargreaves focuses on his recovery

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Hargreaves focuses on his recovery

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:50 pm


No injured Bundesliga professional has received such much media attention in recent months as Owen Hargreaves. Manchester United has made no secret of their desire to recruit the 25-year-old, but Bayern is insisting that that the midfielder will serve out his contract, which runs until 2010.

“Owen is not for sale at the moment,” general manager Uli Hoeness repeated last Thursday as the Bayern party left Munich for the winter training camp in Dubai. Coach Felix Magath added: “There is no Hargreaves issue. He has a contract well beyond this season.”

<B>Tight-lipped Hargreaves</B>

On Saturday the in-demand Englishman himself commented during a press conference on the debate surrounding his future – only to say that he wouldn’t comment. “This has taken on its own momentum,” was all he would say. “Enough has been said already about this, and I’m not going to add to it.”

In the past Hargreaves has repeatedly said that as a member of the England team, it’s understandable that he would favour a transfer to Manchester, which would also move him closer to his family. But at the moment he is not focusing on this issue, he said on Saturday. “I’m not thinking about it,” he said. “It’s a matter for others. My priority is getting fit.” There has been no further discussion with manager Hoeness lately.

<B>No formal offer</B>

Why not? “There has been no formal offer,” said Hoeness. The Bayern manager has heard nothing about the supposed 30 million euros that United is supposed to have bid. “All these figures that are floating around are speculation that has absolutely no foundation.”

So Hargreaves will still be in a Bayern shirt for the second half of the season. Magath hopes that the versatile midfielder will join the squad for training “as rapidly as possible”. He has had to sit out practically the whole of the first half of the season after suffering a broken fibula during the 2-1 defeat in Bielefeld, the Reds’ fourth league match. “Owen is very important to us,” said the head coach. “We missed him badly over the past few months.”

<B>No date for a comeback</B>

Hargreaves admits it is still “hard to say” when he will be able to resume full training with the rest of his teammates. During the training camp in Dubai he is restricted to running and fitness training. “I am really enjoying being able to run like before,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to be wearing football boots again.”

Although his recovery has taken “a little longer than planned”, Hargreaves says he is very optimistic that he will soon be back playing for Bayern in the second half of the season. He utterly rejects any suggestion that he will not be fully committed because of all the transfer speculation. “Wherever I play, I give it everything I’ve got,” he said. “I don’t do anything half-heartedly.”

<B>Second home in Munich</B>

Hoeness too has no doubt that the 25-year-old will focus completely on playing for Bayern. “It is completely untrue that there’s a rift between Bayern and Owen Hargreaves,” he said in an interview with <B></B>. And the midfielder himself is ready to confirm that he remains happy in Munich: “I have now been here for nine years and am the longest-serving player apart from Scholl, Kahn and Salihamidzic. Munich has become my second home.”

<i>By Nikolaus Heindl for <b></B> in Dubai</i>
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