Reds allow Paletta to go home with Boca Juniors

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The Independent Football

Liverpool have sold their Argentine defender Gabriel Paletta to Boca Juniors. The 21-year-old only joined the club last summer in a £2m deal from Atletico Banfield, and made just six starts for the club. He scored on his debut in a 4-3 Carling Cup win over Reading last season and was considered a long-term successor to the likes of Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher.

But Liverpool have decided to cash in on the youngster, who they snapped up following his impressive displays in the 2005 World Youth Championships. Argentina won the tournament, with Paletta playing in all seven games alongside the likes of Lionel Messi.

Gabriel Heinze told Sir Alex Ferguson that if his wages were not doubled at Old Trafford he would seek a transfer just 24 hours before suffering his career-threatening knee injury in 2005. Heinze had only been at Manchester United for just over a year when he made his demands, which have been revealed by Ferguson in the aftermath of the Argentina defender's acrimonious departure.

The 29-year-old was sold to Real Madrid last week but not before he had faced Ferguson at a Premier League inquiry and asked to be cleared to join Liverpool.

That appeal was rejected, although the fall-out from the row will continue for some while yet as United investigate whether Liverpool made an illegal approach to the former Paris St-Germain player.

Ferguson has now claimed the player's agent was agitating for a move virtually as soon as he had arrived.

"We signed Gaby in July 2004 and he immediately went off to play for the Argentina Olympic team, and then on to some World Cup qualifiers," Ferguson said. "We didn't get him until September, so in that first year he probably played about five months.

"At the start of the following season, a day before he suffered his cruciate injury against Villarreal, his agent came to see me and said he either wanted a transfer or for me to double his wages. That immediately sent out the wrong signal.

"Throughout his rehabilitation, his agent was asking me to sell him. You wonder whether the lad actually wants to play for you and in the end, you just give in."

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