Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has claimed Owen Hargreaves would be a "massive signing" for the Blues if he does complete his shock move to the Premier League title challengers on Wednesday.
Press Association Sport understands the results of a medical for the 30-year-old midfielder, who was released by Manchester United this summer, were sufficiently positive for dialogue to be opened over terms for Hargreaves to be offered a contract, with those talks now at an advanced stage. And Hart agrees with the assessment that it is a "win-win" signing by manager Roberto Mancini.
"It would be a massive signing," he said. "I have never been involved (in a team) with him but I saw a lot of him before and how highly he was regarded when he was at Bayern Munich and at Manchester United."
He added: "He is a huge player and if he is fit and part of Manchester City he will be another great signing. If he can get back to the form of five years ago, it would be great."
Given Hargreaves' abysmal fitness record, any contract would almost certainly be heavily incentivised, and the kind of pay-as-you-play deal which Michael Owen signed when he joined Manchester United two years ago.
The former Bayern man has been sidelined for almost three years after operations on both knees to cure a chronic tendinitis problem.
It appeared Hargreaves was in desperate straits when he released a film of himself training on YouTube, the comic value of a one-time top-level athlete being tied to a treadmill being hard to ignore.
Yet West Brom boss Roy Hodgson was impressed enough to offer a contract and, as deadline day approached - not that Hargreaves is constrained by that given he has no current status - Tottenham and Aston Villa were said to have made a move.
Should City prove to be his eventual destination, with the added lure of Champions League football the only part of the deal that brings time pressure given Hargreaves' status as a free agent, it would represent a staggering turn of events.
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