England midfielder Owen Hargreaves is to leave FC Bayern München in what is reported to be a record fee paid for a Bundesliga player.
The 26-year-old has spent his entire career with the German giants, making his debut in the 2000/01 campaign and memorably helping Bayern to UEFA Champions League glory at the end of that season. He has long been linked with a move to English champions Manchester United FC but Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer would not confirm his destination when asked on Sunday, the day after Bayern also said farewell to the retiring Mehmet Scholl, Juventus-bound Hasan Salihamidzić and the forward duo of Ali Karimi and Claudio Pizarro with a 5-2 home defeat of 1. FSV Mainz 05.
"Owen is leaving," Beckenbauer said. "That was the player's wish. It's a good match and it's also a good deal financially." Reports suggest Hargreaves will cost a record-breaking €25m, with Beckenbauer saying only "it's in that range". Bayern will enter the 2007/08 UEFA Cup after their fourth-placed league finish cost them a place in the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 1996/97. The club, who reached the quarter-finals of Europe's premier club competition this season, had won domestic doubles in each of the two previous campaigns.
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