Last updated : 15 July 2007 By Editor

The well connected Steve Bates in the People:

Manchester United and Liverpool are facing all-out war over Gabriel Heinze.

Champions United have told their defender they don't want him to go to Anfield - even though Liverpool have met their £6million valuation - and are refusing to sell to their fierce local rivals. It's now up to the South American to resolve the issue between the feuding clubs. The battle over Heinze, who will play for Argentina against Brazil in tonight's Copa America final, could become as bitter as the row over compatriot Carlos Tevez.

Liverpool, having agreed to pay United's asking price for the 29-year-old, have learned that senior Old Trafford figures - including Sir Alex Ferguson - would rather Heinze went abroad.

There has not been a transfer deal between the clubs since Phil Chisnall joined Liverpool from Old Trafford in 1964.

Heinze has two years left on his deal but under new FIFA legislation he can buy himself out of his contract for £6million ... and Liverpool are ready to test that ruling.

An Anfield source said last night: "If we offer the money United cannot say no, so we will see what happens."

Heinze would welcome a move to Anfield but friends say he doesn't want to upset United.

Sunday Mirror:

Arch-rivals Manchester United and Liverpool are on a collision course over Argentine defender Gabriel Heinze.

Sunday Mirror Sport can reveal that United are attempting to block Heinze in his wish to switch from Old Trafford to Anfield - even though the Merseysiders have agreed to pay the £6million asking price.

Now Liverpool are looking to the 29-year-old to force the issue with Sir Alex Ferguson - in the knowledge that Heinze can still be bought out of the remaining two years of his contract.

A source at Liverpool said: "United cannot say no to our offer if we meet the contractual requirement."

But Ferguson is desperate to keep the full-back out of Rafa Benitez's clutches - and is hoping for Real Madrid or Juventus to firm up their interest with a bid.

The United boss initially told Heinze's advisers the player would be allowed to go to any club willing to match United's valuation. But the Scot was stunned when Liverpool made their move.

Heinze's advisers have made it clear in talks with Anfield officials that the Argentine wants to become the first player in 43 years to cross the great divide between the two north-west adversaries.

Liverpool were able to secure the services of Javier Mascherano from the Hammers last season on an 18-month loan despite Joorabchian's ownership of the player.

And United's need for transparency as they look to land Tevez under a similar arrangement has seen them ask their rivals for guidance.

Liverpool have been happy to oblige because professional relations between the two clubs have always been cordial.

But that has not thawed United's stance over Heinze, who will decide his future after playing for Argentina against Brazil in tonight's Copa America Final in Venezuela.

Heinze became a cult hero when he joined United in a £6.9m deal from Paris St Germain almost three years ago.

And even though he knows a switch to Liverpool would alienate United's fans, the defender has indicated his desire to move to the other end of the East Lancs Road.


Newcastle do hope to sign Manchester United's Argie defender Gabriel Heinze, 29.