Ferguson denies illegal approach by United for Hargreaves

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The Independent Football

Despite the threat of an official complaint to Fifa, the world game's governing body, and an admission from Owen Hargreaves that he has received a "fantastic offer" from Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson yesterday rejected Bayern Munich's claims of an illegal approach for the England international as he maintained his pursuit of the £17m-rated midfielder.

The Bayern president, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has threatened to report United for "tapping-up" Hargreaves, who has been informed he is not for sale at any price.

The accusation that United were guilty of an illegal approach for a player who is fully aware of their interest and offer, however, was dismissed by Ferguson, who has again been linked with a move for the Argentina striker Carlos Tevez.

"I have not spoken to the boy," said the United manager. "I have not read the comments and I know nothing about it but that is not right [that United made an illegal approach]."

Ferguson also refused to withdraw his interest in Hargreaves. "I don't know if [chief executive] David Gill met Rummenigge at the Champions' League draw in Monaco but we just need Bayern to tell us what is happening."

An agent for Tevez last night insisted his client was on the brink of a move to the Premiership having walked out on the Brazilian club Corinthians earlier this week.