League may help Heinze move after deadline

August 22, 2007

The Premier League will use their discretionary powers to let Gabriel Heinze leave Manchester United after the August 31 transfer deadline.

Sources close to the player have confirmed Heinze will lodge an appeal against the League's decision to block his proposed move to Liverpool 'within 24 hours'.

United would then have 14 days to respond, which would take the case beyond the date at which the transfer window is due to close on all business, effectively tying Heinze to the Old Trafford outfit, a situation none of the parties wants.

However, recognising the delicate nature of the issue, the Premier League will invoke rule M4, which allows them to clear transfers under their own jurisdiction after the deadline.

In effect, it means should Heinze win his appeal, he could join Liverpool, while if he loses he would be allowed to quit United for another English club.

The latter scenario seems unlikely given one of the major components of United's successful defence was the wording in a letter sent to Heinze's agent made it clear they were only willing to sell to an overseas club.

However, it does offer both United and Heinze an extra escape route should the appeal fail as Sir Alex Ferguson now accepts the full-back, the Red Devils player of the year in his first season at the club, has no future at Old Trafford.

Already annoyed at Heinze's public courting of their fierce north-west rivals, anger among the United faithful has risen even more at the prospect of the former Paris St Germain defender appealing against the verdict, which prevents him becoming the first player since 1964 to join the Anfield outfit from the Premier League champions.

Ferguson knows Heinze is close friends with Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, so it would serve no purpose to have a disaffected player at the club's Carrington training HQ either.

The feeling at United remains that Heinze will eventually turn his back on his dream Liverpool move and opt to move abroad, believing the 29-year-old is eager to tie up what in effect will be the last lucrative contract of his career.

French champions Lyon remain the club to show most interest in the Copa America star, although, with just over a week remaining before the transfer window closes, it would be no surprise if other top outfits in Spain and Italy began to show an interest.