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Page last updated at 15:35 GMT, Sunday, 6 May 2007 16:35 UK

Premier League drops Howard probe

Tim Howard
Howard was missing from the Everton goal against Man Utd

The Premier League has confirmed that it is satisfied neither Manchester United nor Everton broke any rules over the transfer of goalkeeper Tim Howard.

There were reports United had insisted upon Howard's absence in April's match against Everton - which they won 4-2 - as part of their deal with the Toffees.

But in a statement the Premier League said neither club had done wrong.

"It remains the case that there were no agreements that breached any of our rules," the statement said.

Howard joined Everton on a season-long loan deal from United last summer, which became permanent in February.

Premier League rules on loan deals prevent players from playing against their host club but, once the Howard deal became permanent, he was eligible to play against United on 28 April.

The Premier League would not have sanctioned the permanent transfer if United had requested a clause preventing Howard from playing against them.

But before the match Everton boss David Moyes appeared to suggest there had been a verbal agreement between the clubs over Howard's omission.

The Premier League's statement added: "Everton were free to play Tim Howard in their fixture against Manchester United had they so wished - and this has been confirmed by both clubs."

see also
Everton 2-4 Man Utd
28 Apr 07 |  Premier League
Everton complete Howard transfer
14 Feb 07 |  Everton
Howard considers leaving Man Utd
18 Dec 06 |  Man Utd
Ferguson could bring back Howard
29 Nov 06 |  Man Utd
Everton agree Howard loan signing
09 May 06 |  Everton

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