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Page last updated at 11:42 GMT, Sunday, 31 August 2008 12:42 UK

Magpies offer Owen improved deal

Michael Owen
Owen could leave Newcastle for free if his contract expires next summer

Newcastle striker Michael Owen has been offered an improved three-year contract extension and a salary increase in an attempt to keep him at St James' Park.

Owen's current deal ends next summer and he is yet to commit to Newcastle.

"The proposed terms of the new deal include an increased salary and demonstrate Newcastle's commitment to keeping him," said a club statement.

The 28-year-old, who could walk away from the club for free next summer, was linked to several clubs in pre-season.

It had been thought that the England striker would only be offered a new one-year deal and a pay-cut of around 83,000 a week.

However, the new deal represents a pay-rise from Owen's current weekly salary of 103,000.

"Newcastle United can confirm that captain Michael Owen has been offered an extended and improved three-year contract," the statement added.

"The club hopes that this enhanced contract offer will keep him at St James' Park."

Last week, Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan said he was hopeful Owen would sign a new deal, but admitted that every player had his price.

Keegan said: "I don't think any player is untouchable.

"That's not to say in any way, shape or form that we want to see Michael Owen leave this club."

Keegan added that he could sign as many as five players before the transfer deadline.

The Magpies are at an advanced stage with two players and Keegan is considering tabling offers for another three.

But Keegan has refused to comment on his targets - and would not be drawn on whether Chelsea wide man Florent Malouda is one of them.

Defender Kamil Zayatte of Young Boys of Berne trained at Newcastle's Darsley Park headquarters on Friday - but has now opted to join Hull on loan.

Keegan refuses to rule out Owen departure

Keegan, who sold James Milner to Aston Villa on Friday, held a meeting with owner Mike Ashley on Wednesday - and the boss in happy with the resources he has available.

"The owner is absolutely and totally committed to the club, there is no doubt about that, and it is a case of us trying to get the quality we want in," he said.

Owen played the full 90 minutes for Newcastle in his side's 3-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

The former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker missed the start of the 2008/09 campaign after contracting mumps in pre-season.

He joined the Magpies from Real Madrid for 17m in 2006.

see also
Aston Villa seal Milner transfer
29 Aug 08 |  Aston Villa
Owen to remain captain - Keegan
23 Jul 08 |  Newcastle
Keegan delighted with Magpies duo
24 Mar 08 |  Newcastle
Keegan joy at Owen return to form
04 Feb 08 |  Newcastle
Owen is told to wait for new deal
17 Oct 07 |  Newcastle

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