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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 August, 2005, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Owen reveals Premiership interest
Michael Owen
Michael Owen has admitted talking with "three or four" Premiership clubs amid reports he wants to return to England.

The 25-year-old striker's position at Real Madrid has been put in doubt since the arrivals of Brazilian duo Julio Baptista and Robinho at the Bernabeu.

Newcastle have confirmed their interest in Owen while Manchester United have been linked with the England forward.

Owen said: "With Real's knowledge there's been brief dialogue although no formal negotiations have taken place."

England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson wants to see Owen move to Old Trafford if he does head back to the Premiership.

"What I read, what I've heard, is it might be a possibility that Manchester United take him, and as England coach I shouldn't complain if that is the case," Eriksson said.

"For him to work every day with Wayne Rooney can only make England better."

The arrivals of Robinho and Baptista to supplement the incumbent attacking options of Raul and Ronaldo mean Owen could begin the season fifth in the pecking order for a starting place up front.

Owen added: "During my four days off, there have been two big signings confirmed by the club and I can understand why this has resulted in speculation about my future.

"Real Madrid contacted my advisers over the weekend and explained that they wanted me to stay but that they would not stand in my way if the right opportunity arose for me to return to the Premiership."

Newcastle manager Graeme Souness is desperately in need of a new striker and would relish the chance of bringing Owen to Tyneside.

On Wednesday, following Newcastle's Intertoto Cup elimination, he said: "I'm like every other Premiership manager - we'd love to have him. We can't rely on Alan Shearer week in, week out to come up with the goods."

However, it has been widely reported that Owen, who is rated at 11m, would not leave Real for a club that had not qualified for the Champions League and the Magpies will now not even play in the Uefa Cup.

Chelsea and Liverpool have ruled themselves out of the running and Manchester United have so far refused to comment specifically on the possibility of him linking up with Rooney.

I am (going on) an important 14-day pre-season fitness programme - I do not envisage anything happening during this time
Michael Owen

And Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "I have not made any approach for Michael Owen. At the moment I'm not looking for a striker. I'm looking at some other areas."

Despite fervoured speculation, Owen is in no rush to leave Real after just one season in the Spanish capital following his 8m move from Anfield last summer.

"I am off to Austria with the rest of the squad to undertake an important 14-day pre-season fitness programme and I do not envisage anything happening during this time," he added.

"When I joined Real Madrid, I was considered by most people to be fourth-choice striker and yet I still managed to start 26 games and score 16 goals.

"I am confident that the Real Madrid president, Senor (Florentino) Perez, will have my best interests at heart whatever happens.

"In the meantime, I am preparing myself physically and mentally for the coming season and hopefully the World Cup which follows it."




WATCH AND LISTEN
News conference: Sven-Goran Eriksson



SEE ALSO
Newcastle may make move for Owen
02 Aug 05 |  Newcastle United
Man Utd in pole position for Owen
01 Aug 05 |  Football


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