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Whiteside warns Man Utd's Heinze: Only Fergie can win

Heinze wants a move to Liverpool, but is finding himself at loggerheads with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson over his plans. Twenty years ago, Whiteside also found himself in a barney with Ferguson over wanting to join Liverpool!

Whiteside told the Manchester Evening News: "I had gone to Belfast and one of the football magazines asked me about Liverpool, who were winning everything at the time, saying would I like to play in a team that played football the way they did. I agreed I would and thought no more about it.

"But by the time I got back, one of the papers had turned that into me wanting to play for Liverpool.

"Fergie called me to his office and in front of the coaching staff he belittled me like you wouldn't believe.

"He said I had to apologise to our supporters, which I refused to do because I had nothing for which I had to apologise.

"Contrary to what a lot of people think, I always had a good relationship with Fergie, and still do, even though we had our run-ins.

"Even when he had a problem with my drinking, it was over and done with, and he never held it against me. I would apologise when I was out of order.

"But the thing with Liverpool really hurt him, because he felt it was about me wanting to leave the best club in the world, even if Liverpool were, at the time, the best team in the country.

"I had lived in Manchester since 1981, I told him, and believe me I knew precisely what our fans thought of Liverpool. I wasn't dumb enough to be so provocative."

Unlike Whiteside, Heinze clearly does want to join Liverpool, but the tone and content of the player's meeting with Ferguson on Monday have remained behind closed doors.

Whiteside has few doubts about the outcome, even if a Premier League tribunal may try to intervene in the matter:

"The manager is stubborn enough just to hold out, and he always wins. Heinze has two years left on his contract, and he could play those two years in the reserves if Fergie sees fit."

Whiteside's autobiography "Determined" is now on sale (Headline Books, £18.99).

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Tribal Football Staff

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