As Manchester United’s Owen Hargreaves prepares to return to first team action – probably in early December – manager Sir Alex Ferguson is looking at alternatives, should the Canadian-born midfielder’s fitness fail again. Barcelona’s Yaya Touré reportedly tops the manager’s January shopping the list.
Meanwhile Hargreaves, who has missed the past 14 months following operations on both knees in the United States, says he can’t wait to return.
“It will be an amazing feeling to run out at Old Trafford again. I’ll be so excited I’ll probably pass out,” Hargreaves told the Daily Mirror.
“I just want to be part of it again, to be available and healthy. I can’t wait to get involved.
“I want to be able to pull on the shirt and have an effect on games. I just want to compete in matches, work with the coaches to improve my game and become a better player.
“I want a good season to repay the faith shown in me by the United fans.”
Hargreaves, who suffered from career-threatening patella tendonitis in both knees, joined the club with an injury that became worse as the former Bayern Munich man played for United.
“The last year has been difficult. As an athlete you think you are invincible,” he added.
“You don’t think something of this magnitude and seriousness will happen. I obviously had the problem when I came to Manchester United from Germany in 2007 and we tried to manage it.
“Nothing really seemed to work, despite being available for the big games at the end of the first season.
“I came back for the next season a week early to try to sort the problem out but it just didn’t work. My last game was Chelsea away last season and I probably shouldn’t have played.
“I struggled to drive my car for three days after that match. I knew something was very wrong.”
Meanwhile Touré’s agent, Dimitri Seluk, says several of Europe’s leading teams want to sign the Ivory Coast international. Seluk, probably angling for a new contract at Barcelona, says there is no chance his client will join Manchester City. Arsenal is also interested in the player, according to reports.
“If Barca do not want Yaya then I can name eight other clubs, some of the biggest in the world, that are interested in signing him,” Seluk said.
“One thing I can say though is that if he does leave Barca he will not go to Manchester City because he will sign for a bigger club.”