I will replace Hargreaves at Bayern, claims £8m Van Bommel

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The Independent Football

Owen Hargreaves is "close to leaving Bayern Munich", according to Mark van Bommel, who is set to replace the Manchester United target at the German club. The United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been told by Bayern to forget about clinching a £17m deal for Hargreaves, an unused substitute for the 0-0 draw against Nuremberg on Saturday night, before Thursday's transfer deadline.

But the German champions thrashed out an £8m move for Barcelona's Van Bommel at the weekend. And the Dutch midfielder claims Bayern want him to fill the gaps left by Michael Ballack and the transfer-seeking Hargreaves.

Van Bommel said: "I have left Barcelona because there were not enough guarantees that I would play every week. With 24 top-class players, I know I can't expect that. But at Bayern Munich the chances of playing are so much bigger, they told me, with Michael Ballack gone and Owen Hargreaves close to leaving the club."

The Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston has confirmed Arsenal's interest in the striker Steven Naismith. The 19-year-old will travel to London today to meet the Gunners' manager Arsène Wenger and undergo a short trial. The Scotland Under-21 international will then return for the European Championship qualifier against France in Aberdeen on Friday.

Johnston said: "Steven is going down there for Arsenal to have a look at him in training, but we have reached no agreement with Arsenal and no figure has been discussed."

Naismith was voted Young Player of the Year last season after scoring 13 goals to help Kilmarnock to a fifth-place finish in the SPL. He has already scored four goals this season.

The Arsenal forward Jose Antonio Reyes has insisted that he will not play in England again. "I've heard lots of rumours, but the one thing that is clear is that I want to leave London," he said yesterday. "I want to come back to Spain. I will not play again in England."

The Real Madrid midfielder Thomas Gravesen hopes to have his future sorted "within the next 48 hours", according to his agent, John Sivebaek. The 30-year-old is wanted by Celtic although Glenn Roeder, the Newcastle manager, is also interested.

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