Premier League - Hargreaves set to complete City move

Tue, 30 Aug 21:50:00 2011

Owen Hargreaves could be confirmed as a Manchester City player on Wednesday.

FOOTBALL Premier League Owen Hargreaves of Manchester United - 0

Press Association Sport understands the 30-year-old midfielder, who was released by Manchester United this summer, has had a medical with the Blues and the results have been sufficiently positive for dialogue to be opened over terms for Hargreaves to be offered a contract.

Given Hargreaves' abysmal fitness record, this would almost certainly be heavily incentivised, and the kind of pay-as-you-play deal which Michael Owen signed when he joined Manchester United two years ago.

Five years ago, Hargreaves was England's star performer at the 2006 World Cup and two years after that, he ended his first season at United by lifting the Premier League and Champions League.

But then renowned knee surgeon Dr Richard Steadman ordered surgery on both legs to cure a chronic tendinitis problem Hargreaves was suffering from at the end of his time with Bayern Munich.

At least three comebacks had to be aborted, the latest last season, when he was handed a surprise start at right-back for a Premier League encounter with Wolves at Old Trafford but lasted just five minutes after pulling a hamstring.

Sir Alex Ferguson did talk optimistically about a comeback as Hargreaves' four-year contract ran out.

In the end, the midfielder neither made it back onto the pitch, nor received an offer to stay.

Defender Joleon Lescott has backed the club's pursuit of the England international.

Lescott said: "Owen is an experienced player, he has played in the Champions League, is an international. It is only going to be good for the City squad if he signs."

He added: "I've worked with Owen at England level and he is a great professional. People ask if it represents a gamble but the club know what they are doing, Owen knows what he is doing. He is still a good player.

"He hasn't played as much as he would have liked over the last couple of seasons but the medical team we have is very good and very strong. If we can get him fit, I'm sure it won't be very long before he is back to his best. He will be a player with a point to prove after his injuries."

City are known to be searching for a new holding midfielder and targeted AC Milan's Mark van Bommel, according to the Netherlands international.

"City were one of the clubs that wanted me in the winter so it's not as though their interest has come from nowhere, but AC Milan have a very clear position and I can live with that," he told Voetbal International.

"I feel good as a footballer and I am appreciated here. And my family feels at home here."

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