Anfield boss Rafael Benitez is a long-time admirer of the tough-tackling Argentina defender and after weeks of speculation lodged a formal bid for Heinze on Monday.

The £6million offer was immediately rejected by United, even though it met their private valuation.

And Ferguson has made it clear he will not countenance the prospect of Heinze heading down the East Lancs Road to Merseyside, a route travelled only once since the War, when Phil Chisnall joined United's hated rivals in 1962.

"I can assure you, Liverpool will not be getting Gabriel Heinze," Ferguson said.

"We can put that to bed right now and we have done so. We have had a couple offers for him and we have turned them down."

With Heinze now on an extended break due to his commitments at the Copa America, Ferguson has not had an opportunity to speak with the former Paris St Germain player directly.

However, given his agent has spent the last 18 months pushing for a transfer, it appears certain Heinze will be leaving, even if Liverpool does not turn out to be his eventual destination.

"Heinze's agents are rolling the ball all the time," said Ferguson.

"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."