Nicky Butt has come out today and said that Michael Owen is willing to stay at Newcastle, and the other players are also keen to have Michael stay on Tyneside, although the uncertainty at the club is not helping anything.
Michael Owen – feels he still owes club
Nicky told the Newcastle Journal today:
“Everyone at the club wants him to stay. I think he wants to stay himself but there’s nobody you can speak to about contracts at the minute,”
“No one knows who’s making the decisions at the club at the moment. We’ve got players running out of time on their contracts but no one can sign a contract, we don’t know whether someone’s buying the club or not.”
“It’s not a major problem with the players, though. We’re just getting on with the football and hopefully it’ll get sorted out soon.”
Michael was offered an improved 3 year deal in late August, but that was just before the break-up between the Newcastle board and manager Kevin Keegan, that saw Kevin resign from the club, for a second time, on Thursday evening, September 4th.
Owen is naturally reluctant to sign any new deal – before he sees who the new owners and permanent manager will be. If it is Shearer he will sign immediately, without a doubt, and we even think he’d be happy enough to sign if Joe Kinnear was hired on a longer term basis.
He would also sign if Kevin Keegan is reinstalled as manager, although that is now looking increasingly unlikely.
The word is that Michael feels he owes the club some loyalty after they stuck by him after he injured his ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) in his knee in June, 2006, during the World Cup in Germany playing for England, and was out a full year.
As well as Michael’s contract running out in the summer, that is also true for local lads Steve Harper and Shola Ameobi, and there is now obvious uncertainty surrounding their future careers at the club.
“I’m sure he (Kinnear) is looking to get himself settled down but at the minute nothing’s happening. We’ll have to wait and see what happens,”
“As players we just get on with it. It’s been like that for a while now so we’ve just learned to get on with it – I’m sure it’s more frustrating for the gaffer because he’s in limbo. It’s something that needs to be sorted out soon.”
Joe Kinnear has just two more games in charge officially, against Wigan at home on Saturday and then against Chelsea at Stamford Bride the following Saturday. That’s why it was so important for Joe to get all 3 points at Craven Cottage on Sunday, to bolster his case to stay longer at the club. It was a disappointing loss, especially when we let in two sloppy goals.
But don’t be surprised if Joe is given another 4 weeks in charge if indeed the Newcastle sale has been delayed, as Keith Harris of Seymour Pierce Bank suggested last week.
We’re not sure Joe will be all that happy to accept another limited 4 weeks in charge this time around, what with the transfer window opening on January 1st next year. Who will be in charge of our transfers in January?
That’s just one good question that remains unanswered, about what will happen to the club over the next couple of months.
Comments very welcome.