Newcastle have not come to any agreement yet, with Michael Owen on the contract negotiations.
But we also give little credence to the News Of The World (NOTW) report yesterday that said Newcastle could sell Michael by next Monday (September 1st) for a fee of just £5M.
While it’s true, in the worst possible case, that if no agreement is reached Michael has every right to walk away from Newcastle next summer for nothing, we think cooler heads will prevail, and the club and Michael will be able to reach a compromise solution on Owen’s contract.
But the situation is rife for sensational reporting, and we’re going to get a lot of that, until a deal is struck with the English International.
It’s true that negotiations over the striker’s contract have been dragging on since last May, when Kevin Keegan appealed to the Newcastle board to get a deal done as quickly as possible.
The proverbial source close to the talks told the NOTW yesterday:
“We are getting towards the business end of things now.”
“It has gone on for so long without any real progress being made and it can’t continue too much longer.”
And last week’s reports that Newcastle were willing to offer Michael £140K/week (£7m per year) were false, and the Evening Chronicle reported that early last week.
The hope is that Newcastle can offer Michael a decent package, that with some personal and team success in the coming seasons, and incentives in the contract, Michael can make as much as he was getting now.
But the team and Michael himself will need to do a lot better than over the last 3 seasons.
But we cannot see much wrong with that – it’s simply pay per performance, which is fair to both sides.