Bayern Munich appear to have softened their stance over Manchester United target Owen Hargreaves.
Hargreaves has made no secret of his desire to join Man Utd
Since United first expressed their interest this year, Bayern have remained adamant they will not sell the 25-year-old England midfielder.
But general manager Uli Hoeness said: "If ever we found a replacement for Owen, who cost less than we'd get for him, we might think about it."
But Hoeness said any deal would take place next summer and not in January.
"We face Real Madrid in the Champions League in February so we're not about to weaken our team," he added.
"Our top priority is to strengthen the team and we need Hargreaves for that."
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Nonetheless, United are thought to be ready to make another bid for Hargreaves in the January transfer window.
Hargreaves has repeatedly expressed that while he is not unhappy in Munich, he is desperate to play in the country he represents at international level.
He is back in training after recovering from a broken leg and said last week: "It's about the opportunity to possibly play in another league I haven't played in before, which is also the country I represent and where my family lives.
"I received a lot of criticism for suggesting it would have been a great opportunity but sometimes you need to say it. I don't feel bad about anything I said or did.
"It's not like I'm saying I want to go to AC Milan or Inter Milan because they're offering me more money.
"It's because it's England and because Britain is where my family is. My parents and my brothers are in Canada but the whole of my dad's side of the family is in Bolton and my mum's side is in Rhyl.
"I think some people don't realise that. They think I'm half-German or something but I'm not. I was brought up by a British family. It just happened to be in Canada."