Better late than never seems to be Owen Hargreaves' story as he heads to Old Trafford.

MANCHESTER United celebrated their most successful season in four years in the recently concluded Premiership campaign and during the break leading up to the start of the new term in August, will look back with much satisfaction.

They reached the FA Cup final last weekend, but narrowly lost out to Chelsea, and also came agonisingly close in the Champions League where they eventually bowed in the semi-finals. The League Cup did not rank much up the order at Old Trafford and Southend ended the Red Devils’ exploits in November.
But it was the Premiership from which Man United drew the most delight. Their triumph came on the back of a show of real spirit and character, something Alex Ferguson has done well to instil at the club in his 20 years in charge.
However, those who believe that the fiery and elderly Scotsman will be just sitting around, gleefully rubbing his hands together and dreaming of a 10th league title next season, are far off the mark.
Ferguson has long set in motion a programme detailed to lure some of the best players around to Old Trafford for next season, when they aim to not only retain the Premier League title, but also add to the Champions League success of 1999.
And already there appears to be movement as Owen Hargreaves hinted that, by the end of this week, a statement would be made to outline his future.
The Bayern Munich and England midfielder steered clear of saying where he might be headed, but he has in the past openly expressed a desire to play for the Old Trafford team.
It has been widely reported that Bayern have accepted a £17mil bid for the 26-year-old defensive linkman and the club’s president Franz Beckenbauer intimated as much earlier in the week, confirming that Hargreaves was “leaving.”
This prompted Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to express his disappointment about the exit from the Allianz Arena of Hargreaves.
He was quoted on the club's website as saying: “A player like Owen Hargreaves would have looked good in our team next year. And in the defensive midfield position Owen is one of the best in the world – it's a big sporting loss for us.”
Hargreaves, who spent most of last season on the sidelines recovering from a broken leg, told the BBC of his impending switch: “It's been one of the longest transfer sagas. I'm sure this week we'll hear some new information.”
Man United tried to sign Hargreaves in the off-season last year and again in January, but failed to do so as Bayern held out. Now with the deal seemingly done, although Man United have declined to comment on the matter, Old Trafford midfielder Michael Carrick has said he would be more than happy to have Hargreaves in their ranks.
Carrick, who arrived in Manchester from Tottenham in an £18mil deal at the beginning of last season, said: “World-class players will strengthen you and Owen is a top player. We are at the world's biggest club and we want the best players. We need a big squad to fight on all fronts.”
Indeed, should Hargreaves move to Old Trafford, Ferguson will have at his disposal an enormously potent midfield combination that could somewhat alienate Darren Fletcher. One can only assume that the Man United boss will find it hard not to play Hargreaves, Carrick and Paul Scholes together in the middle of the park, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs gliding down the flanks.
This would be nothing short of an awesome midfield, and when one throws Wayne Rooney, and possibly Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid), Franck Ribery (Marseille), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Ajax), Samuel Eto'o (Barcelona), Mark Viduka (Middlesbrough), Michael Owen (Newcastle) or Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham) into the equation upfront, then the other big guns across Europe will know that the Red Devils will take some beating next term.
Southampton defender Gareth Bale has also been said to be a target of Ferguson. Tottenham are also apparently keen on the Wales player, who has had a price tag of £10mil-plus strung over his head.
For those tipped to be on their way out of Old Trafford, the names of Mikael Silvestre, Gabriel Heinze, Kieran Richardson and Louis Saha have often cropped up.
But with Hargreaves sparking an exciting start to Man United's spending spree, the absence of any or all of those players mentioned would not be missed much.
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