Bayern holding out over want-away Hargreaves

August 24, 2006

Bayern Munich general manager Uli Hoeness believes Manchester United were surprised the Bundesliga outfit resisted an approach for Owen Hargreaves.

The Bavarian giants are still unwilling to part company with the 25-year-old England international, who has a contract with Bayern until 2010, despite United's increased interest.

Hoeness insists an existing contract is a 'sacred instrument' which needs to be honoured, even though United are believed to be prepared to pay in the region of £17million for the England midfielder, with a week to go until the transfer window closes.

'We found it legitimate (of Owen) to say that he would like to play for Manchester,' Hoeness told kicker magazine.

'And I like this player. But there is a contract and that is why I said to him: `Owen, I cannot understand that you can't accept that. Even if Manchester offer 30, 40 or 50 million'.

'I hear Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson has been saying they are very surprised that someone says no given how much money is involved.'

Hargreaves, who is set to miss Bayern's match against Nurnberg with flu, has confirmed he is keen to quit the German champions to move to Old Trafford.