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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007, 17:16 GMT
Owen Hargreaves column
Owen Hargreaves column
By Owen Hargreaves
England and Bayern Munich midfielder

Let's get one thing straight as I start my first BBC Sport column - this is a place where I will be airing my views, not discussing idle rumours and speculation.

I'm sure you are all more than aware that there has been a lot of talk involving myself moving to Manchester United.

But that is something I'm not prepared to discuss in this column. That's for other people to do.

Owen Hargreaves at Bayern Munich's training camp in Dubai
It has been tough work at Bayern Munich's training camp in Dubai

Don't get me wrong, I know this type of speculation is part and parcel of being a footballer and that goes especially for me because my situation is so different to that of other players.

I was born and raised in Canada, I moved to Munich at a young age and I have been here for a long time. I play for England, yet I have never played in the Premiership.

I guess it is understandable that all the fans and the media want to be able to see me in the Premiership so that is why there is so much speculation.

It has happened before, where people tend to say anything for a story, but all I am prepared to say is that I think this time it is a bit different because it is kind of concrete.

This isn't just your average speculation, there is some kind of information behind all of this, which is probably why the story has gone on for so long.

Personally, I don't find it particularly frustrating. After all, I cannot control what people write or when those people choose to do a story, can I?

There are so many journalists out there and stories travel so quickly nowadays.

I am in Dubai at the moment at a mid-season training camp with Bayern Munich and if I do a story with a local journo it is all over the world on the internet within minutes.

I'm not the sort of guy who likes to make headlines and always be reading about myself.

But at this present moment it's a major topic in Germany because I play there and it's a major topic in England because that's where a club wants to sign me, so it's all pretty intense right now.

I have probably said three things on the speculation in the past six months but it gets drawn out anyway

It is kind of funny really because it has got to the stage where my life is almost defined by this.

The only thing people ever ask me is 'When are you going to sign for Manchester United?' It's like I've never done anything else in my whole life!

It doesn't bother me, it just takes on a life of its own after a while and until there is a conclusion it will carry on.

Me personally - I have probably said three things on it in the last six months but it is an everyday topic because the press draws it out - and that is what they are very good at.

I have to say I'm not massively aware of what the English press says about me, although I get the gist of it.

I don't pay attention to the good or the bad, I'm far more interested in what my coaches and team-mates are saying about me and whether they are happy.

I could have easily come back from last summer's World Cup and had a rubbish game for England against Greece and then all the good press I had built up would have disappeared.

In England, the press speculation is a lot more intense than it is in Germany.

In some countries you are famous for being an athlete so they write only about that, not who you are dating or what you are wearing.

But other places are different. In England you are a public person and everything you do will be spoken about, so I guess that would take a bit of getting used to.

Owen Hargreaves breaks his leg playing for Bayern Munich in September
Being in a cast and unable to move properly makes you really appreciate being able to walk again

The thing is, if you choose to play in a certain country, you have to accept the way it is and then adapt to it.

I must admit though, I would rather people asked me how the injury is going as I continue to recover from my broken leg.

I broke it in September and it was a bit of a freak break to be honest. The timing wasn't great because it was not long after the World Cup and I was enjoying playing for England and Bayern a great deal.

I'm not the best watcher, so rocking up to Bayern games and having to sit through them is pretty horrible.

It was hard at first. I had a cast from my toes to my hip and could barely move and when the cast came off I had to get used to walking again, using joints that hadn't moved for weeks.

It makes you appreciate being able to walk and things like going upstairs. When you are an athlete and something like that is taken away from you so abruptly, it's terrible.

But I'm coming along fine at the moment and in a couple of weeks I should be able to join the other players in a full-on training session.

Just being in Dubai is brilliant, to be honest. We've had a terrible winter in Munich, one of the worst in recent memory, so to be out in the sunshine in shorts and T-shirts is great.

I just can't wait to start playing football again.

  • From next week, Owen will be answering a selection of your questions in his column. So, using the postform at the top of this column on the right, send us your questions and we will put as many as possible to the England international.



    Send Owen your questions using this form and read his answers to a selection of them next week
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