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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 November, 2003, 06:51 GMT
Owen drops Liverpool exit hint
Michael Owen
It is impossible to say about my future at Liverpool
Michael Owen
Michael Owen has hinted he may move to a foreign club if Liverpool fail to qualify for the Champions League.

The England striker, who has 18 months left on his contract, suggested the club must improve their form if he is to sign a new deal.

"In an ideal situation, Liverpool will do well this season and challenge for the league," said Owen.

"But I really need to be playing in the Champions League and that is something we have to remedy.

"I have never doubted my own ability. I've done the business at the top level before.

"I don't want to be just a normal professional. I aim to reach the top and to do that you've got to play against the best teams in the world."

Boss Gerard Houllier has repeatedly insisted that both Owen and Steven Gerrard would sign a new contract at Anfield.

Liverpool captain Gerrard signed a new contract on Tuesday which ties him to the club until 2007.

But while Owen said there was "no problem now", he added: "It is impossible to say about my future at Liverpool.

"If they are winning the league every year, there will not be any decision to make about playing abroad."

Liverpool have denied that the comments suggest Owen is keen to quit Anfield, saying the striker is desperate to lead his side to success.

"Michael's merely echoing what Steven Gerrard has said - that he's desperate to get the Reds back in the Champions League," said a statement on the club's official website.

Real Madrid and Chelsea are said to be interested in signing Owen from Liverpool, who would be faced with a decision between selling their biggest asset early or see him leave on a free contract in the summer of 2005 if talks do not progress.

Liverpool are lying eighth in the Premiership table, 13 points behind leaders Arsenal and four points off fourth place, the final Champions League qualifying spot.

Gerrard signs new deal
11 Nov 03  |  Liverpool

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