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League steps into Gabriel Heinze row

League steps into Gabriel Heinze row

Aug 4 2007

by Chris Bascombe, Liverpool Echo

Gabriel Heinze in action for Argentina

THE Premier League will adjudicate on the dispute between Manchester United and Gabriel Heinze next week – possibly paving the way for his move to Liverpool.

Heinze’s representatives wrote to league chiefs asking for their intervention as the Argentinian seeks a transfer from Old Trafford.

It’s now hoped a hearing will be arranged to determine the 29-year-old’s future.

The decision of an adjudication panel will determine if the letter signed by United chief executive David Gill, which says Heinze can join any club which pays a set fee, is legally binding or not.

Gill says a verbal agreement made it clear certain clubs, including Liverpool, would be an exception to this rule. However, this was not in the letter.

If the league rules in Heinze’s favour, he’ll then be free to negotiate a move to Liverpool, who’ve had a bid for the player rejected.

Liverpool are keeping their distance from the latest developments and will have no representation at any hearing.

This is seen essentially as a row between Heinze and his club.

Anfield officials have clarified today it was Heinze who wrote to the Premier League asking for an intervention, not Liverpool.

There will be relief at Anfield, however, the Premier League have taken the matter forward.

A resolution is now likely before the transfer window closes, although Heinze is expected to report back to training with United on Monday.

Meanwhile, it’s emerged Sebastian Leto’s availability for this weekend’s Rotterdam tournament was due to special dispensation, not the conclusion of his passport application.

Leto, who started against Shanghai last night, still won’t be free to join the Reds officially until he’s granted European status.

It was earlier thought the 20-year-old left winger had been given the all-clear from the authorities, but he’s only been given the green light to play as a triallist for the time being.

Rafa Benitez admitted the prospect of a second leg at Anfield could be crucial as Liverpool earned a kind draw in the Champions League qualifier.

Toulouse only qualified for the competition in controversial circumstances having finished seventh in the French league.

They were handed a place because their last league game was abandoned at 0-0, but they were later given the three points, leapfrogging into a Champions League position.

Benitez said: "I'm happy with the draw for two reasons. Firstly, the travelling won't be a problem, and secondly, the second leg will be at Anfield in front of our supporters.

"After travelling to Hong Kong, Switzerland and Rotterdam, the last thing we wanted was a long trip.

"Toulouse are a good side with some good players. The French league is of a high standard and so this won't be an easy game."

Dates for the tie have yet to be confirmed by the club.


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