The news continues to circulate and it seems that football journalists have made up their minds, for whatever reasons, that Michael Owen will leave Newcastle.
Why this is the case we have no idea other than the journalists themselves have decided there is a big rift with between Michael and Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce and that Sven Eriksson wants him at Manchester City.
Michael Owen - too many made-up stories about Owen leaving Newcastle
Now the Daily Telegraph is reporting that if Sven waits until next July 1st, Michael will be available for Â£6M. Hey, maybe heâ€™s available for only Â£3M on Halloween night â€“ that’s probably got as much credence in it as the rest of these stories.
They point to the release clause Michael has in his Newcastle contract and his price each summer is supposed to be reduced by 25%. If that’s the case his value next summer is closer to Â£4M on that reckoning, since he was signed for Â£17M in the summer of 2005. Yes, but our understanding is that the clause is only activated if Newcastle have not qualified for Europe. Unless something goes catastrophically wrong this season we think Newcastle will be in Europe next season again.
The Telegraph quotes a source close to the club â€“ whoever that may be â€“ as saying:
“The get-out clause that Michael Owen demanded when he signed for Newcastle will become active again next summer. Each year his value on the books is reduced and by next summer it will be in the region of Â£5 million to Â£6 million.â€
“That means that Manchester City or any other club can come in and trigger his release by matching that figure. Newcastle are powerless to stop him moving on.â€
“Manchester City wouldn’t be his ideal choice, but none of the big four was interested in him this year.â€
“Newcastle would probably be wise to sell him in January if they could because they would obviously land a bigger fee. In any case, they dare not let him get into the final year of his deal without signing a new one because he could then leave for nothing on June 30, 2009.”
Itâ€™s far too early to talk about Michael leaving Newcastle because he has yet to have a 10 game continuous run in the side. We think once he plays more regularly and his injury record improves, heâ€™ll do just fine at the Tyneside club. He can then help Newcastle start becoming one of the top teams in England once more, which is the burning ambition of the club’s new billionaire owner, Mike Ashley.
One thing is certain, Michael will have to fight for his place at Newcastle with Oba Martins still only 22 years-old and improving all the time. Oba hit two good goals in Nigeriaâ€™s draw with Mexico yesterday, and was apparently the star man in the game. But time will tell how well Michael does at Newcastle, we think heâ€™s motivated to do really well at the club, despite journalists trying to put a wedge between him and Newcastle.