Heinze to join Real Madrid

Tonight it seems the fun and games surrounding Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze’s wishes to leave Old Trafford have come to an end, with the player reported to have signed a deal with one of United’s Champions League rivals Real Madrid for £5.5m.

Heinze was told he could leave United this summer as long as a club came up with a bid of €10m. Liverpool did come up with such a bid, but this was turned down with United claiming they don’t sell to rivals. Having sold Juan Sebastian Veron to Chelsea fairly recently that is clearly not true, and unless United do not consider the Champions League important then they must see that Real Madrid are also rivals.

United chief executive David Gill had made a mess in sending a fax to Heinze’s agents detailing that magic fee that would allow him to be sold, because they didn’t actually expect Liverpool to show interest in the player. The name Phil Chisnall has been mentioned more in the last month than it probably ever got mentioned in his playing career, a playing career which was the last one to include a direct move between the two big clubs of the two big cities of the North West. But it had become an unwritten rule that Liverpool and United do not do deals with each other.

So Gill didn’t stipulate in the fax that Liverpool were to be excluded, and Liverpool boss Rafa Benítez soon knew that Heinze’s agent was offering the player all around this country and the continent. Rafa, and the club’s new owners, know full well how the traditions of the club work, but didn’t see a problem in buying Heinze if the price was good and the player was right for the club. United blocked the deal but Heinze was still confident of becoming a Red rather than a Red Devil.

Somehow, in what seemed to be quite tenuous circumstances, a Premier League panel took two days to declare that this short fax was unambiguous and rejected Heinze’s attempts to be allowed to leave Old Trafford for Anfield. Earlier today his lawyer said he would be appealing against the decision, which would be in front of a different panel to the one that made this decision, featuring a former Sheffield Wednesday chairman who had, amongst other things, refused to allow a memorial to the 96 who died at his club’s stadium in 1989.

United were worried that the appeal could be won by Heinze, and in fact realised that had he dug his heels in United were in a no-win situation. A successful appeal would see the player join Liverpool anyway, but because the appeal would not happen until September they would be stuck with a player they could not use if he didn’t win the appeal. Tonight Real Madrid were able to make a successful bid of just €8m, around £5.5m, for the player United knew could never wear their shirt again.

Heinze had already discussed a move to Real earlier in the summer, and although they weren’t his first choice he seems to have accepted that the attempted appeal could have seen him left in limbo at least until January. Having been so confident that he would win his case, and then seeing it fail in strange circumstances, Heinze clearly decided it wasn’t worth taking any more of a risk than he had already taken.

Stories of one of Heinze’s agents contacting Crystal Palace chief executive Phil Alexander about them being used as an intermediary club have also emerged today. According to reports Alexander attended the hearing to give evidence about the approach, which seems to have been made without any knowledge from Liverpool.

Of course there is always a possibility that Real Madrid have agreed to be used in exactly this way – but that’s highly unlikely, despite Rafa’s links with the Spanish giants.

2 thoughts on “Heinze to join Real Madrid”

  1. I guess this puts an end to all the frivolity and we will have to wait another 40 years before another hotly contested transfer. You can have your site back now, replete, as it is, with spurious conjecture. On the subject of which, riddle me this, if Heinze had such an open and shut case, which was due to be ratified once the appeal to Monday’s verdict (evidence of a Man U/ Sheff Weds/Premier League/aliens conspiracy) was concluded in the name of truth and justice (thanks to Rafa on his white steed), why has he gone to Real? Logically there are two possibilities. One, he didn’t really want to play for Liverpool. Two, he wouldn’t win the appeal because it didn’t have the legal merit that has been reported.
    This is a player who is not interested in the Red of Liverpool or the Red of ManU, nor, I suspect, the white of Real, rather he’s in it for the green. Anyone who talks about freedom of workers needs to take a long, hard look at themselves and ask if they truly believe footballers are being exploited. If you want to defend the dignity of human values, I suggest you don’t buy the shirts and merchandise peddled by the rabid capitalists who own both our clubs. Footballers aren’t workers and are equally to blame for the money-grubbing in the game. It is the fans who represent the only truly human value in the game. To which, I would like to say the Sheff Weds ex-chairman is a disgrace as a human being, if, as was written, he denied the Liverpool fans the token of honour for their number
    who sadly lost their lives.

    Regards, a Man U fan, a Northerner, a worker, a football fan in camaraderie with all other fans for love of the game

  2. I cannot believe you’re a Man U fan. You talked sense and did not use swear words. As Liverpool fan I salute football fans who see the game clearly and the players for the greedy bunch they are.

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