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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 August 2005, 22:45 GMT 23:45 UK
Souness rules out Owen loan deal
Real Madrid's Michael Owen
Graeme Souness has insisted Newcastle are only interested in signing Real Madrid striker Michael Owen, 25, on a permanent basis and not on loan.

Newcastle have had a club-record offer, thought to be 17m, accepted by Real, but Owen suggested a loan might happen.

Souness said: "As I understand it, the loan is not an option, not a chance. Not when we've made a whacking great offer for him that's been accepted.

"He is contracted to Real Madrid and it is not his decision."

Souness added: "No player can make that decision.

It is now up to the player and his advisers as to whether he says yes or no
Newcastle boss Graeme Souness

"If Real have accepted our offer and they are happy with that then it is now up to us to make the deal attractive for Michael.

"I am guessing that because Real have spent a lot of money on Robinho and Julio Baptista, then like any club they would want to recoup some of their money for a player who might not be involved too much this season.

"All I can tell you is we have made a club-record offer that has been accepted by Real Madrid.

"It is now up to the player and his advisers as to whether he says yes or no.

"I am a confident sort of person and I am hopeful Michael will join us.

"He knows what we are about. He knows some of the players at our club and I'm sure he will be speaking to them to find out what we can offer him.

"That's common sense as far as I see it."

BBC Sport understands Liverpool - the player's preferred destination - will not pay more than the 8m Real splashed out to land Owen last summer.

And he would have to take a pay cut to persuade Liverpool to pursue a deal.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has been coy on the possibility of signing a player he agreed to sell last summer, insisting his priority is a central defender and a right-sided midfield player.

But he is interested, and BBC Sport believes Liverpool may finally show their hand after Friday's Super Cup Final in Monaco against CSKA Moscow.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Newcastle first-team coach Dean Saunders




SEE ALSO
Liverpool play Owen waiting game
24 Aug 05 |  Premiership
Magpies agree record fee for Owen
24 Aug 05 |  Premiership


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