Owen to Manchester United – How Long Will This Go On?

There is another exclusive in the Sun this morning that Manchester United are after Michael Owen – and are willing to offer Alan Smith to Newcastle in part exchange.

Last Friday’s Daily Mirror exclusive had us having won the battle to buy Smith for ₤3.4M – only on Monday for that to change to Middlesbrough getting him for ₤6M. Since he was on vacation in Florida – manager Gareth Southgate was even going to jet out there to seal the deal.


Michael Owen

None of this happened of course. Let’s just say the credibility of these Sun and Daily Mirror exclusives leaves much to be desired. The Sun report suggests that Manchester will offer ₤4M plus Alan Smith for Owen. The unfortunate thing for Newcastle and Sam Allardyce is that they cannot do much about these reports – which can presumably continue until 31st August. This is not at all good for the club and as Sam said yesterday:

“Everyone knows the clause situation Oba has. That leaves us in a very poor position. “If those clauses are invoked, there is nothing we can do about it. “I want to plan for Owen and Martins to start the season.
“But at some point between now and the end of August, I might lose those types of players. That would be a massive blow.”

What does this mean to Newcastle? It suggests these reports will continue – whether true or not – until Owen (and Martins) say something – or we somehow re-negotiate their contracts. But we can only renegotiate contracts if the players and their agents are willing to do it. Maybe they should think a little more about the club employing them rather than themselves.

They can either commit to Newcastle or leave – that would just about fix the problem. Since training starts next week that would be a good time to talk – and as far as we are concerned it is now more important about telling us what their intentions are. Sam needs to know if he can count on them next season and he needs to know now – so he can plan one way or the other.

Of course – to be fair to the players – the problem was created by the club itself by allowing these release clauses in the contracts in the first place. Not surprisingly Sam is furious about it – which is not too surprising.

We feel Owen has stayed quiet about all these stories because he wants to test the market – and he would only be interested in a top four club. Arsenal have been linked and Manchester United have also been linked – even before this Sun report. Liverpool may be Owen’s stated preference but it looks like Rafa Benetiz prefers other players at Liverpool – like Fernando Torres.

If they do go – especially late in the transfer window – that could be a massive blow because Sam will not be able to do much at that point. That means we may be caught out again – as we were last summer with defenders – when we didn’t have enough at midnight on 31st August. It certainly seems a bit of a mess – but isn’t it time for some loyalty with these players? We certainly think so and are getting a little tired of all these exclusives linking Owen and Martins to other clubs. It may be good for them – but it’s very bad for the club.

24 comments so far

  • George

    Jun 29, 2007 at 8:32 AM

    Comment #1

    This is all really starting to f*&^&*king wind me up! The thought of them both f*&^%$ing off argh!!!

  • Jim

    Jun 29, 2007 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #2

    I dont think Owen is going to Man u and we certainly dont want Smith. Lets hope Martins sticks to what he said before he left to play for his country(and befor Arsenal were supposedly interested) quote ‘ I want to stay at Newcastle’ Reports on sky sports news last night that Sam had flown out to Barcelona to talk to Gudjohnson and Edmilson excited me. I would be happy with either or both. but being linked to another striker seems to say that we are going to lose one of ours. I suppose its a case of wait and see eh?

  • Tony_D

    Jun 29, 2007 at 8:33 AM

    Comment #3

    I can understand why players would want release clauses in their contracts, however there should also be a date in which they have to be activated by. Losing players like Owen and Oba on the 31st August would be a disaster, however if the release clauses had a date such as the 30th June by which they have to be activated it would leave the club in a much better position to prepare for the forthcoming season, whilst at the same time allowing the players to leave if the club performed badly the previous year.

    Hopefully SA can get at least one of them to renegotiate their contract in the next couple of weeks.

  • Cicero

    Jun 29, 2007 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #4

    I don’t think Sam can affords to wait and see. He needs to plan for one or both of them leaving and bring in another top class striker – personally I’d go for Gudjohnson. It would be a disaster for us to start the season with just Viduka and Amiobie.
    Speaking of Amiobie this has got to be his last chance of proving himself he either has to make the grade this season or move on and make way for Andy Carol.

  • Barrie N

    Jun 29, 2007 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #5

    I Think its about time owen declared what he is doing, but he is typical of modern day footballers, totally selfish who dont give a hoot about the fans. I would love him to stay but i wouldnt beg. So come on michael if you want to be away Go but go now

  • Tino

    Jun 29, 2007 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #6

    One can understand that Oba has only been here for a year and does not know how damaging all this speculation can be to the club, the fans and indeed, his team mates. However, Owen has bene here all his life, bar a few months in Madrid, and since all this speculation started, he has not bothered to say a thing about what his intentions are bar the sentimental (my kids are in school here -yeah, so what, the schools are good that is why, and kids can change schools). I think that £13 for Martins, on time for us to get someone else, is something that is not only a good return on a decent player, but the sad reality we face thanks to Fat FS. However, £9, 11 games and 7 goals is not a good return on £17m, and any player that values the essence of English football, is English and crucially, hopes for our support when he wears the England shirt should not make the situation worse by lkeaving us all guessing. Michael should just come out in the opne and say one of two things, either ‘I may have seemed unsure, but I am clear now, I owe Newcastle a debt of gratitude for rescuing me from my wilderness in Madrid, and nursing me during my injuries, and will stay until the end of my contract, and I am willing to have the release clause removed’, or, ‘hey folks, I only came here for the money until something that interests me came along, and despite the good schools for my kids, and my new house here, Champions League football (or being with Sven) is better than all that, so, sorry about the small matter of the £8m loss, but adios muchachos’.

  • Mick G

    Jun 29, 2007 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #7

    I think Sam as got to presume Owen is leaving and buy someone else the money is available.If owen decides to stay offer him to other clubs or use him as back up.See how that helps his chances of playing for his beloved England.He as shown no comittment but as been more than happy to pick up his obscene wages.Just call his bluff and tell him he’s surplus to requirments.There are better players out there.

  • Tino

    Jun 29, 2007 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #8

    Too true. A certain Benni MaCathy springs to mind – see how he likes being replaced by someone like that!

  • Cicero

    Jun 29, 2007 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #9

    Hey guys, lets not whip up a hate frenzy for Michael Owen he hasn’t said he wants to leave either. If he responded to all the crap that’s reported in the press he’d be at it all day everyday. He’s a 20+ goals per season player and we should do everything to keep him, but also not be naïve like we have in the past and make provision for if he does leave.

  • Ben

    Jun 29, 2007 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #10

    tino: love your first comment…

  • dougy j reay

    Jun 29, 2007 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #11

    Owen is clearly a toerag, and if there are fans who could boo Scott Parker (something I never agreed with personally and thought undeserved) I wonder how they’ll take to him next season. Maybe for his own good he should bugger off.
    Despite what cicero says I think I’d rather have Ameobi up front. Sure he has about eight knees, and makes things look difficult at times but remember, this kid scores goals – even when injured – and more importantly puts in hard graft for the team. He’s been injured and yet played on, never came out to whine about it – despite criticism for his performances – and has shown some promise. Remember, this guy carried our attack for a season in Shearers absence at a young age, cracked in goals in europe with confidence (remember a great one against barca that could have counted for something were it not for dyers teapot defending) and is still young. I remember having a few beers with a guy who works at the FA and apparently Sven (this was while he was still manager) was a huge fan of his. I hear that off the pitch he is a great character and a hard worker, and he was considered a real prospect for England. Let’s be honest, he’s not Ronaldo, but I still think he deserves a bit more praise and support than he gets at times…

  • dougy j reay

    Jun 29, 2007 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #12

    oh, and can i just say – having seen that duffer is out til november, is it just me or was it weirdly the worst piece of business done last summer?
    Whilst we all thought 5m was cheap for him, look what we’ve got – a string of lazy, disinterested performances, a p*ssed off and unmotivated zog, and an o’brien (who will probo replace duff at int’l level soon anyway) who has just left.
    Good. work. Roeder.
    throw in ‘THE CLAUSE’, and the appalling decision to watch Kuyt four hundred times before letting him bugger off to liverpool, and can it be said tat glen was about the worst transfer market manager the world has ever seen?

  • Ian

    Jun 29, 2007 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #13

    I can’t be the only one who is disgusted by Owen’s attitude given the support (and money) he’s received from Newcastle over the last two years. It really is time for him to come out and admit if he is looking to go, because the balance of probability suggests the ‘big four’ are also testing the water and will make late bids. Surely Owen owes it to the club to come clean with his intentions so that Big Sam can get on with his rebuilding job; the very least he owes the club!!

    Even if he was to stay I feel he has soured his relationship with the fans to such an extent that he may feel forced to go in January. At this point, with his contract expiring day by day, Newcastle may not even get the 9million which is being touted. If he can’t come clean, then I say find him another team for the good of the club! He could then feign another injury before his visit to St James’.

  • Julio Laker

    Jun 29, 2007 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #14

    Did anyone see Ameobi on Cribs? He has got to be the most grounded footballer I have ever come across. Most definitely not part of the bling brigade, if more footballers at NUFC were like Ameobi we’d be making the back pages for the right reasons not the wrong ones. Hoddle was also a big fan of his and tried very hard to take him to Spuds, mind you he also tried to get Phil Neville…..

  • Soren

    Jun 29, 2007 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #15

    dougy j raey – Couldn’t agree more on Ameobi, his a good lad and as you say’d he scores goals, even when injured. Again you also spot on with the buy of Duff. Still even when Duff played like shite, Roeder still kept him on the pitch. That must be so umotivated to be watching if you’re N’Zogbia or O’Brian. So dissapointed that O’Brian was never given a chance, because he is a cracking player, and with the prospect of having him on the left, and Milner on the right, we would have a feared crossing wing team. But given that Zogs get a chance this season, does still look promising.
    As for this whole farce with getout clauses, I think the worst ting to include in contract for such a talent as Martins. And £9m for a guy who cost £17m isn’t good business either. But since none of them has said anything, I’d expect them to stay. Don’t want to listen to all that transfer bullocks that is floating around.

  • DZ Adams

    Jun 29, 2007 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #16

    BSA is no fool,yet the obvious answer to all this speculation is make them renegotiate new contracts or at least make official statements of their intentions before training starts.That way they can either go or hang around in the reserves waiting to be sold while their replacements get on with the job of helping us back into Europe and maybe a little bit of silverware as a bonus.We simply can’t take the chance of dragging this out until a week before deadline date then watching them go citing the old I need champions league football.

  • john75

    Jun 29, 2007 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #17

    As mentioned a lot already today and a lot yesterday, offer them both new contracts. If they don’t want to sign, then get rid of them ASAP, so that we can get replacements in early. Really hope there is truth about Gudjonsen being tracked as well as Edmilson.

  • Clouded

    Jun 29, 2007 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #18

    Correct me if im wrong, but wasnt it the Mirror who reported we signed Alan Smith for £3.5M from Man U last week and not the sun?

  • StevieA

    Jun 29, 2007 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #19

    I am fed up with the speculation surrounding Owen. So unless he signs a new contract without a release fee and pledges his future to the club I would sell him.

    I think once Martins sees the kind of signings we are making he will re-sign for us without the release clause.

    I would swap Owen for Wes Brown and Alan Smith. Which I think Sam might suggest as both players would be committed and also make a big difference to the squad. They would also bring the wage bill down too a fair bit.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 29, 2007 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #20

    Clouded – I’m the one that’s clouded! – it was the Mirror – now to quickly update stuff. I’ve got the Sun on my brain – change it before they sue me 😀

  • RebYell

    Jun 29, 2007 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #21

    Didn’t Big Sam also say that the issues with Owen were “all cleared up months ago” and “there’s been no speculation since” — which means Owen has at least been honest with the club officials. Big Sam probably knows the same thing Souness knew and Roeder knew, if Liverpool come in, NUFC will see the back of Owen quicker than any defender ever has! If it’s anyone else, I expect Owen will stay. Why move again, especially if the vibes from Liverpool indicate they may be waiting to see how his knee does.

    I agree with Cicero, that Owen is a fairly quiet young man, and doesn’t spend a lot of time refuting crap in the press. It would be uncharacteristic of him to do so now, and I don’t expect it. He’s been honest about his intentions and “commitment” all the way through with Newcastle and the Geordies (even at his unveiling, he never hid his preference for Liverpool) so I think it’s unfair to accuse him of being a liar at this point. He was probably pretty burnt by the mess when he left Liverpool, saying in public he was signing another contract and then meeting up with Benitez to find the new manager wasn’t keen on keeping him. If he’s hedging his bets, it may be to avoid just such an occurrence when he really did “lie” to the fans.

    And for the accusations that he could “feign another injury” I’m not sure what was meant, but I don’t think Owen’s been feigning a torn up ligament and a broken metatarsal. He’s probably so sick of injuries he’ll try to play through any niggling things, rather than feign anything.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 29, 2007 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #22

    RebYell – I don’t really understand Sam’s comment yesterday on Owen. I took it to be positive – but maybe not. If Michael’s staying i just don’t understand why a one line statement wasn’t released to cut off all this stuff written about him. One of his agents could have issued it.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 29, 2007 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #23

    BTW – we expect Michael to be impressed with what Sam is doing at the club – and don’t be surprised if Owen loves working with big Sam – many many others have. Ashley’s takeover – and stated intentions for Newcastle cannot hurt either.

  • Outlaw

    Jun 29, 2007 at 9:27 PM

    Comment #24

    This is pissing me off. Shephard is a bastard for putting these clauses on the contracts in the first place. I say we get rid of them if there is nothing much that we can do about them. No point clinging on and seeing what’s around the corner.


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