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Page last updated at 17:28 GMT, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 18:28 UK

Owen to remain captain - Keegan

Michael Owen
Owen joined Newcastle from Real Madrid for 17m in 2005

Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan has revealed that striker Michael Owen will remain his club captain next season.

No matter who joins the Magpies during the rest of the transfer window, Keegan says Owen, 28, will retain the armband.

"He leads by example, and that's a good way to lead," said Keegan. "He's not scared to give his opinion when he's right, or to say what he feels.

"He has really impressed everybody. He's a tremendous professional and he trains properly every day."

Owen was made captain following Keegan's return to St James' Park in January and helped drag his side out of a worrying slump to eventually finish 12th in the Premier League.

His impact after two injury-wrecked seasons on Tyneside was such that Keegan urged owner Mike Ashley to open negotiations over a new contract as soon as possible, with his current deal expiring at the end of the 2008-2009 season.

Owen missed Saturday's pre-season 4-1 friendly win at Hartlepool with sore calves and is unlikely to be ready to feature at Doncaster this weekend.

But he should be ready to lead his side out at Old Trafford on 17 August, when the Magpies kick off their season against champions Manchester United.

Mark Viduka will miss the start of the new season despite making a good recovery from his troublesome Achilles problem, while Steve Harper and Habib Beye also sat out at Hartlepool with minor problems.

"There's just no point risking them at this stage," said Keegan.

Meanwhile, Emre has finally completed his move to Fenerbahce from Newcastle.

The 27-year-old midfielder signed a four-year deal with the Turkish club after agreeing the switch last month for an undisclosed fee.

see also
Newcastle confirm Emre will leave
01 Jun 08 |  Newcastle
Keegan delighted with Magpies duo
24 Mar 08 |  Newcastle
Owen can keep us up, says Keegan
17 Mar 08 |  Newcastle
Keegan joy at Owen return to form
04 Feb 08 |  Newcastle
Owen will 'get over' Keegan row
17 Jan 08 |  Newcastle
Owen is told to wait for new deal
17 Oct 07 |  Newcastle
Owen completes move to Newcastle
31 Aug 05 |  Newcastle

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