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Last Updated: Monday, 23 July 2007, 08:35 GMT 09:35 UK
Liverpool could force Heinze move
Man Utd defender Gabriel Heinze
Man Utd have received offers for defender Heinze
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez says the club's lawyers are working on forcing through a 6.8m deal for Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson does not want to sell Heinze to his arch-rivals.

But the Reds have met the fee that would secure the 29-year-old Argentine defender's release - stated in a letter from United to Heinze's agent.

And Benitez said: "We made an offer which they rejected. The lawyers are working on it now so we have to wait."

BBC Sport understands the letter does not preclude Liverpool from buying Heinze, and he could also fight United to secure a switch to Anfield.

The fee, believed to be higher than the 6.8m mentioned, is not in Heinze's contract, it is contained in the letter to his agent.

606: DEBATE
RAG

Heinze is keen to leave Old Trafford, and Juventus and Real Madrid are also monitoring his situation.

Ferguson does not want any of his top players to join Liverpool - one of United's fiercest rivals.

Only Phil Chisnall in 1964 has travelled the route in modern times.

Ferguson said last week: "I can assure you Liverpool will not be getting Gabriel Heinze.

"We have had a couple of offers for him and we have turned them down."

Heinze has become a firm favourite with the fans at Old Trafford but told Ferguson earlier this month that he wanted a move.

He has been in action for Argentina in the Copa America, denying Ferguson the opportunity to speak to him face-to-face.

But Ferguson insists that if Heinze is to leave, it will be on United's terms.

He stated: "Heinze's agents are rolling the ball all the time but no matter what his agent thinks, we are in the driving seat.

"I don't exactly know what Gaby thinks because it is all coming from his agent but this has been going on for a year-and-a-half now."

SEE ALSO
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Saturday's gossip column
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Monday's gossip column
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