United finally land Hargreaves

 

Manchester United have finally completed the signing of England midfielder Owen Hargreaves from Bayern Munich.

The 26-year-old has signed a four-year contract with the club after a lengthy pursuit by the Premier League champions.

Hargreaves said: "It's been a long time coming. It was probably the worst-kept secret in football, but it's great to be here."

Canada-born Hargreaves' transfer free was reported last month as £17million.

He joined Bayern from the Calgary Foothills in 1997 and won four Bundesliga titles with Bayern as well as the 2001 Champions League and Intercontinental Cup (World Club Championship).

"I think it's great to finally reach a positive conclusion," he said.  "Especially after all the time and energy that's been put in from everyone involved!"

Hargreaves was a surprise star of England's largely disappointing 2006 World Cup and United tracked his progress closely from that point.

But Bayern had insisted the player was not for sale, before finally giving way and allowing the deal to go ahead.

That all changed on May 20th when club president Franz Beckenbauer confirmed the player was leaving.

Hargreaves had been contracted to Bayern until 2010.