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Hargreaves Departure Caps Bad Year for Bayern
The Guardian, May 21st, 2007 3:30PM

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To the surprise of no one, Owen Hargreaves will be moving to Old Trafford this summer from Bayern Munich. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been chasing the player for nearly a year now, and Hargreaves himself stated his desire to join the club. Bayern President Franz Beckenbauer said Hargreaves would move to the English champion for a "little over" ¬25 million, or $34 million once the transfer window opens on June 1. That's less than the $40 million the club originally asked for.

"Owen Hargreaves will go," Beckenbauer told German television. "It is the wish of the player. Everything is right for him and it is also financially right for us." The Canadian-born midfielder made it clear he wanted to leave Bayern Munich after Ferguson made it clear that he wanted him at Old Trafford. However, Beckenbauer wouldn't let him leave because Bayern had already lost Michael Ballack, the club's other central midfielder, to Chelsea. Because of that, Beckenbauer struck an agreement with the player that he could leave at the end of this season.

It's been a bad year for Bayern Munich, which finished fourth in the Bundesliga, outside of a place for Champions League qualification. Beckenbauer and co. intend to use the Hargreaves money to sign Werder Bremen striker Miroslav Klose and another midfielder.

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