Defender Heinze brings in lawyers
Sir Alex Ferguson says Manchester United are confident of keeping Gabriel Heinze despite him calling in lawyers to try to clinch a move to Liverpool.
The Reds have met the £6.8m fee for the 29-year-old Argentine, but United do not want him to sell him to Liverpool.
“We’re aware he’s taking legal advice. We’re confident of our position so I hope it’s good advice,” said Ferguson.
“He’s due back in training on 6 August which gives him three weeks’ rest after the Copa America. We expect him back.”
United chief executive David Gill also said he was happy the club was in the right.
“He is a contracted player for two years and unless we receive an offer which is acceptable to us as a club, he will remain with us,” he said.
Gill says that prior to Liverpool revealing their interest, he verbally informed Heinze’s agent that United would not be prepared to sell him to any of their three major domestic rivals.
That conversation is thought to have been recorded, and if so, could feasibly, be used as evidence if the matter ended up in court.
Ferguson says Heinze’s representatives have unsettled the defender.
“I think that if we could take away the agent’s role in this I don’t think an awful lot is wrong with Gabi’s position at the club,” said Ferguson.
“We’ve looked after Gabi very well. He had his cruciate knee operation and we looked after him.
“We let him do his rehabilitation in Spain, which he wanted and I think he’s delighted at how we’ve treated him. We’ve conducted ourselves in a way that suited Gabi perfectly.”
But Heinze, who signed from Paris St Germain in 2004, is thought to be keen to leave, and the large Spanish-speaking contingent at Anfield may be an attraction.
If he did end up at Liverpool, Heinze would become the first player to go directly from Old Trafford to Anfield since Phil Chisnall in 1964.