Anfield boss Rafael Benitez is a long-time admirer of the tough-tackling hardman 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," said Ferguson. "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." Ferguson's forceful statement suggested more than one club had expressed an interest in Heinze. Real Madrid and Inter Milan have both been linked with the 29-year-old, who has become something of a folk hero among United fans, partly due to his nationality but also because of the robust nature of his defending. Although it appeared Patrice Evra had ousted Heinze as United's first-choice left-back, the South American did feature in the Red Devils' final three games of last season, skippering them against Chelsea and West Ham, then holding on to his place for the FA Cup final. 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 Saint-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." The matter is likely to bubble on for a while yet, especially as the deadline for Heinze to invoke a FIFA-backed buy-out clause has now expired. Had the full-back stated his intent to pay up the remainder of his two-year United contract within two weeks of the season ending, Ferguson could not have stopped a move to Liverpool. But with that date now well gone, Ferguson, in agreement with the entire United hierarchy, will stop Benitez getting his man.