Michael Owen Could Leave As Free Agent Next Summer

Michael Owen is clear when he says he wants to stay at Newcastle United, but the player has today warned he will leave on a free transfer next summer, if the club do not improve their contract offer.


 Michael Owen – could leave as free agent next summer

There have been meetings ongoing between Owen’s contract advisers and the Newcastle negotiating team that includes Executive Director (football) Dennis Wise and Head of Recruitment Tony Jimenez.

But because Michael has just one year left on his contract he can leave within a year, and therefore can simply refuse the Newcastle offer, and even buy his contract out right now for around £5M.

But Owen has said many times that he wants to stay on Tyneside, and lead the Newcastle revolution on the field under Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan, but the England international also feels the club need to reward him financially.

We’re not sure why Michael thinks he deserves to be rewarded, because his contract right now is over £5M a year and in the last 3 years he’s played around 47 times for the club and scored 20 goals.

Add to that our transfer fee to Real Madrid of around £17M, and Michael has been an expensive proposition for Newcastle, to say the least.

Because of this, and the fact that Newcastle must reduce their wage bill this season, the club have asked Owen to reduce his wage demands.

However, as a free agent Michael will be able to negotiate a far larger basic weekly wage if he leaves either next summer or buys his contract out this summer.

Newcastle seem not to be budging on this, and the very last thing we want right now is a stand-off between Owen’s representatives and Newcastle, where the contract doesn’t get signed.

That’s probably Kevin Keegan’s nightmare scenario, and the reports suggest that Owen is growing increasingly concerned at the lack of progress.

A source close to Owen said today:

“Michael wants to stay and he will stay if Newcastle give him what he wants, but that hasn’t happened yet and the contract talks are dragging on.”

“Michael can leave on a free transfer next season and he knows he will get the wages he wants then. He is in a strong position.”

Owen seems happy at Newcastle, and he has been enthusiastic in the way he has talked about the start of the new season, and the positive impact Keegan has had since he returned as manager.

However, Michael is also a hard-nosed business man and is unlikely to allow emotions get in the way.

The club are also in a difficult position, because if they cannot hold onto Michael Owen, there will be even more criticism the club are just too tight when it comes to handling world class players, and the chances of us signing them in the future, will not look good, at least not to the fans.

The worst thing that can happen is the status quo continues where nothing gets done, and the best is that the club announce they have reached a 4 year deal with Michael in the near future.

But we have to think that Kevin Keegan cannot be too happy at these events right now, with no transfers happening anytime soon,  and problems with keeping his captain, who he has said many times he wants to build the Newcastle team around.

Oh well, another day in the difficult life of being a Newcastle United fan.

Be sure to take our new poll on whether Michael should be prepared to take a wage cut and stay at Newcastle.

We need a nice win this afternoon with the lads playing very well – just like last week.

Comments welcome.

100 comments so far

  • bigpeaovtheweab

    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #1

    get ur arses in gear boardroom staff we need to keep our senior best players or we can kiss goodbye to our top flight status

  • Neptoon

    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #2

    Heres something that might cheer the fans, here, up a bit.

    “The transfer of Plymouth Argyle youngster Aaron Spear to Newcastle United “is now close to being finalised”, said the Championship club on Thursday.

    And the 15 year-old striker has been named in a 38-strong England U16 development training camp next month.

    Meanwhile, United have moved to secure another 15 year -old prospect, with Velje defender Niels Bisp Rasmussen arriving from his native Denmark for a week-long trial.”

    Source: http://www.nufc.com

  • smc894

    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #3

    Does anyone know the probability of a live stream for the Doncaster game? Would be good if we could have a comments page dedicated to live stream links for the up coming games Ed ; ). No frendlies are aired here in Australia and you lot always seem to have watched or listened to the games. Cheers

  • figsdad

    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #4

    Maybe thats Mike Ash plan to get him off the wage bill comes end of next season..

    Dont give him a new contract…

  • Frankieboy

    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #5

    C’mon Ed this was discussed in yesterday’s blog.
    The fact he will not command a transfer fee means the big four will be able andwilling to meet his wage demands, so Micheal ends up where he wants to be.
    If this is his game plan and I suspect it is, as he seems reluctant to commit himself to a new deal (on lower wages) here then this will not bode well with all at the club.
    Either tie him to new deal now or look at the possibility of recouping part (a small part) of the £17M outlay before the season starts.
    It just makes sense and let him know the club is in control of the situation.

  • 9 Shearer

    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #6

    This scares me he is our inspiration like Shearer.

  • euanpolo

    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #7

    We cannot afford to let Owen leave, at this stage we wont be able to attract another striker of his quality. Ashley and co. need to sort things out, I’m sure Smith etc. could go rather than Owen. Surely the wage budget isn’t that high, we’ve barely got 20 first team players! ASHLEY! SIGN OWEN UP QUICK!

  • figsdad

    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #8

    well if robbie keane is valued at 20mil so is Owen sell him for that fee to any bidding teams

    hint for mancity..

  • JJ

    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #9

    I dont want to be unfair because we dont know what he is being offered but if it is 80k a week and he is refusing it, then I would sell him to sit bench at another club for half a season. He has done nothing to earn his wages here in three three years.
    He is way past his best, always injured and completely overated by many English fans anyway.

  • Frankieboy

    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #10

    Yeh, but Shearer would of never put the club in this situation cos this was his boyhood club.
    I suspect Owen would not put Liverpool in similar situation as that was his boyhood club.
    However his affiliation to the Toon is not based on love or loyalty I presume.
    Bearing this in mind I for one would love to see him commit to a new contract here to pay all back for the loyalty the club has shown him.
    He does owe us the supporters after all.
    Plus we released him from his real Madrid nightmare.

  • JJ

    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #11

    @9Shearer, dont even compare him to Shearer – Shearer was world class, and a world class leader. Owen is good and an average leader.
    It is Kevin Keegan who has been our inspiration.

  • Rae

    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #12

    Have any of these quotes came from Owen or NUFC? No – a source close to Owen!! Have we learned nothing from the last few months? Another fabricated story wrote to try and unsettle us.

  • stumpofthetoon

    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #13

    stuff him he done the same to liverpool little greedy b*****d all he thinks about is being englands glory boy wich is not going to happen he does not love the toon all he loves is money . good by micky greedy t**t

  • Ericles

    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #14

    Something smells about this situation. The story is by Luke Edwards in the Journal. Then the story is repeated by 2 journos in the Guardian. I phoned them to ask their sources but was told they were not available on Saturday’s. I am suspicious. Is there some sort of info feeding going on between Luke and the Guardian? Too much of a coincidence. And who are these sources (unnamed) close to Owen? It is another weekend pot boiler in the press and I think the Journal needs some questions asking too. On top of that we have things being run by the west London barrow boys and KK out on a limb. If Owen is mixing it for more money and using it to go on a free then sell him now. NUFC cannot be held to ransom by anybody – and I mean anybody! What is the truth. Come on Owen you can speak with the mumps so give the fans the real truth.

  • John

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #15

    I remember being at Owen’s NUFC debut and wearing my daft Chronicle Owen mask. Owen would do well to remember that too and his emotinal reception when he was unveiled as an NUFC player. The big 4 are hardly begging him to join and he has dropped way down the pecking order of top strikers. When he learns to chip a goalie he is entitled to top whack!

  • LondonToon

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #16

    If we lose Owen, then the only way to look is downwards…

    He’s our only top-class player.

  • JJ

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #17

    @euanpolo, LOL, after all my bitchin, you right, if Smith is on 60k a week then Owen should ne on 400k a week and Taylor should be on 150k.
    To think we could have had Santa Cruz in stead of Smith for 2Mil less and half the wages : (

  • Shanghaitoon

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #18

    I think this just goes to show that Michael is just another mercenary, like many of the other premiership primadonnas that think they’re bigger than the club that pays them huge salaries. We can find any number of strikers that are only just here for the money… Sell him and get someone who actually wants to be at NUFC.

  • DanToon

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #19

    Frankieboy, he was a Everton fan as a kid!

  • bri

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #20

    big al demanded to be the best paid player a newcastle for years so dont think he would do any different to owen right now

  • JJ

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #21

    Bri – big Al scored over 200 goals for the Toon and played 80% of the games and offered more than just his goals with hold up play and leadership. He was and still is an ambassador and was at the club for 10 years. so AGAIN.
    NOT EVEN COMPARABLE, he was and probably still would be twice the player Owen is.

  • Geordie Nick

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #22

    alan shearer had it in his contract that he HAD to be the best paid player at the club, if anyone came in on higher wages he automatically got a wage rise so u cant say shearer wudnt put us in this postion cos he was just as greedy.
    at the end of the day if you went into work monday and ur gaffer said he wanted to drop ur wages by a £100 a week ud tell him to do one, its the same situation here but on a much larger scale. we’re f*ked without owen so sign him up NOW

  • Bmore5

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #23

    Can’t blame him really. The club have so far failed in the transfer market, and then to boot they want him to take a wage cut?

    Offer him the same terms over another 4 or 5 years, and build a team around him. It makes more sense than spend £20m plus £100k a week to replace him next year when he can walk away for free.

  • Owld NME gadge

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #24

    Things need to be said, and said to Mike Ashleys face.
    This is although we are grateful that he rescued our club, the club is NOTHING without supporters. He needs to be reminded of this……
    If he persists with the apparent skinflint attitude and players like Owen are allowed to leave for nothing because of high wages, he will find the goodwill and generosity of the Geordie public evaporating far more quickly than he will ever imagine.
    The club may be owned by you, Mike, but it is ultimately worthless without us, THE FANS.
    Forget this at your peril.

  • the Dude

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #25

    I wouldnt want Owen going for free and i am now not sure Ashley has been any better for our club. At least every summer Freddie Sheppard put money on the table. I am pretty pi**ed off at the moment with the backroom team. And all the fans can see the only shining light is keegan at the moment, hope he doesnt get upset and leaves.

  • Michael

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #26

    Nobody will pay him the kind of money we are if he leaves next year. So he doesn’t have an awful lot to gain by leaving.

  • bri

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #27

    its not owens fault he had injuries its just bloody bad luck. give owen his 5m a year job done, why let him walk away for freeeeeeeeee and then have to find a world class proven prem scorer on a MAbudget of 45p and 20p aweek wages. GIVE HIM THE SAME DEAL FOR 4 MORE YEARS. LETS FACE IT WHEN HE HAS PLAYED HE HAS SCORED GOALS

  • Owld NME Gadge

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #28

    “Nobody will pay him the kind of money we are if he leaves next year. So he doesn’t have an awful lot to gain by leaving.”

    You are wrong, if they can sign EMO for free, paying him a big wage will not be a problem to at least half of the clubs in the Premier League.

  • beye the great

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #29

    i personally beliewve owen owes us something we paid 17 mil welcomed him like no other club would and all he has been doing is working with the physios it is dissapointing to hear he has not signed a contract i mean lets be honest whatever it is it will be a considerable more amount than any of us are getting unless thier just happens to be milllionaires on the site and if so you can buy me a season ticket lol but also the contract he is being offered maybe a bit on the low side for a player of his calibre i think something needs to be worked out and who ever said owen was good is completely wrong as if owen can get a chane he is world class maybe not as good as shearer at his best but if you are talking about an englishmen then he is the best striker we got including rooney as he doesnt get as many goals as owen and with owen you can always rely on him scoring in the big games

  • Neil Snowdon

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #30

    Dear Ed,

    This appears to be normal contract haggling, served up to exert pressure on the parties to come to a deal. As in all things I advise us to keep our nerve.

    Michael Owen has always looked after himself and loyalty does not come into it. He is not exceptional in this. I’m sure we can do a deal, perhaps based on games completed leading to a bonus.

    As for his influence on the team, yes it’s there, but you cannot compare it to Shearer. Are our memories so short?

    Remember those countless seasons when he tackled like a lion, headed away corners like a seasoned defender and changed games with his magnificent goals of every type. Just one example :

    We were losing to Everton, despite pounding their goal. Then Alan produced a superlative volley to equalise. That was my particular favourite Shearer moment.

    Off to Donnie shortly.



  • Graham

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #31

    Yes, I agree with sorting out the clubs rediculous wage bill, but I also think we need to be paying the going rate for world class players (which Owen is).

    He has been very unlucky with injuries since coming here – before he left Liverpool he had no serious injuries to note.

    By paying this kid the going rate could be the difference of finishing 10th or 6th next season

  • bailey

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #32

    I want him to stay because he is still one of the best goal scorers around but is anybody else getting tired of these players trying to hold clubs (not just NUFC) to ransom. I appreciate we dont know this for fact but feel sure there will be some substance to reports. There could also be in his mind that transfer progress is zilch and therefore no ambition and why should he be part of it. Give him a take it or leave it offer and if he refuses then move him on and let NUFC move on as well.
    Just found out Luke Edwards is a Cockney: . What with Anal Oliver being just plain useless and Farrington a Mackam is there anyone in the local press worthy of reporting on NUFC.

  • evildick

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #33

    this info isn’t from the club, so don’t get sucked into it. wake me up when we sign someone!

  • Leo

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #34

    shouldnt be long before shaz is on hear letting us all know that he will be joining liverpool.

    we do need to tie him down to a new contract because he is a key player but he doesnt warrent an improved contract, by no means, he is replaceable so i dont want us to be heald to ransom,

    actually come to think of it with our current recruitment team it is unlikely that he is replaceable.

    just a quick question every message i get from this site to my hotmail inbox i have to click open the message twice once to select the message and one to open it because it believe the message to be unsafe, ive added the address for this site to my safe list and to the ‘friends’ list

    any ideas people its blooming anoying taking ages to read everyones comments

  • Magpie6699

    Jul 26, 2008 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #35

    I agree with Michael (comment 26)- and I said so weeks ago in an earlier blog. It is NOT true to say that the top 4 clubs will be straight in for him and willing to pay more than he’s getting -a) they may not need him and b) his fitness record will make anybody wary. Also, from his point of view if he goes to any of them he could end up as a bench-warmer. So maybe his options are not that great.

  • Jim

    Jul 26, 2008 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #36

    Sell Owen. The ungrateful prick has taken the Toon for a ride over the last 3 years. He’s played little, been given 1st class care for his injuries and has a history of greed.

    He’s not the world class act he thinks he is. He may be for 2 years but the best years of his career have been spent in helicopters and race courses.

    We can’t have a rottern apple in the barrel as far as wages are concerned so his age, experience and ability should command the top of the pay scale but it should be the same scale any other player can aspire to.

    Sell him before the end of the window if he’s going to squeeze the Toon for greed. Don’t misunderstand me though. As a football player, I’d like him at Newcastle just not at the expense of an extra player or 2.

  • nightfall

    Jul 26, 2008 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #37

    he’s good, but…players come players go…

    there were, are and will be another world class talents, so…what happens happens… oba and owen both deserve to be a starters, but can’t play together in a 442 formation…so i think one of them will leave…and i personally think we should hold on to oba…

  • ANON

    Jul 26, 2008 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #38






  • Black and White Blood

    Jul 26, 2008 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #39

    Let him go….

    I’m pleased to see that the club won’t be held to ransom. How can a player be so brash, what has he actually done since arriving on Tyneside to deserve a wage increase. In my opinion, there are younger better, much better out there at half the price.

    When will fans wake up and smell the coffee beans – we pay for these exorbitant salaries. To take my family of 4 to the match it costs in excess of £90. Sooner the bubble bursts the better – I would rather watch an amateur Newcastle United week in week out – 11 dedicated players playing for the pride of wearing the B&W stripes, not driving my financial gains!

  • Black and White Blood

    Jul 26, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #40

    ANON you SPUD!!!!


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