England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has revealed that Michael Owen called him for advice about his club future amid worries about his World Cup place.
The striker is unlikely to start many games for Real Madrid, and Newcastle have agreed a fee of around £17m, although he prefers joining Liverpool.
"His worry was that if he played like last season, would I pick him or not?
"I told him if he plays as many games as last season, I will pick him. If he never plays it's tricky," he said.
The Swede named his England squad on Sunday for the World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Northern Ireland.
Owen, who is thought to be flying in on Monday to have talks with the Magpies and Liverpool, is suspended for the first game in Cardiff.
Tottenham's Jermain Defoe is expected to take his place and partner Wayne Rooney, but Owen should return against Northern Ireland.
Eriksson added: "He is always a very calm young man but is very keen to play football, so you can understand that he wants to come back to England.
"If he stays at Real Madrid then he doesn't know how much he will play.
"I think something has to happen very soon, although exactly what, I don't know.
"I will be very happy the day that they tell me what's going to happen to him as I think he's worried. He's a calm person but he wants to know his future."