Bayern general manager Uli Hoeneß has quashed speculation that Owen Hargreaves could be leaving Bayern for the English Premiership, despite the 25-year-old's revelation that he is considering a "fantastic" offer from Manchester United.
"We're not interested. Owen has a contract until 2010 and he will see it out. The issue is closed," Hoeneß declared on Wednesday afternoon.
England international Hargreaves, a hot property in the Premiership at the moment after emerging as one of the few success stories from England's dismal World Cup showing, publicly confirmed United's interest in a Sport Bild interview.
"The offer from United is fantastic. Particularly as an England international, it's of interest to me, and you never know if an opportunity like this will come around again," the player was quoted as saying.
Yearning for England
Ironically enough, Hargreaves will appear at Old Trafford on Wednesday night when he wins a 35th full international cap with a start in his favoured holding role for England against European champions Greece.
The versatile midfielder arrived in Munich from Calgary Foothills as a 16-year-old in 1997, stepping up to the senior squad in 2001. Last October, he signed a contract extension keeping him at the club until 2010, but he has never made a secret of his ultimate ambition to appear in the English top flight.
Magath: I'm building around Owen
Press reports claim the Manchester giants have bid up to €25 million for the player, but Bayern insist they have no intention of letting one of their prize assets leave, as the 25-year-old has a central role in coach Felix Magath's post-Michael Ballack plans.
Furthermore, Valerien Ismael's broken leg means the club is even less prepared than ever to lose a genuine utility man with an excellent fitness record from the squad. "It's not a question we're even prepared to ask," the head coach remarked, "we've never discussed letting another player go."