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Page last updated at 17:54 GMT, Monday, 22 December 2008

Owen delays decision over future

Michael Owen
Owen is out of contract at the end of the season

Michael Owen says he has "no intention" of leaving Newcastle in January but has refused to commit himself to the club beyond the end of the season.

The 29-year-old is out of contract in the summer and has been linked with moves to Chelsea and Tottenham.

Despite refusing to sign a new three-year contract, the striker insists his decision is "not about money" and he is happy at St James' Park.

"I hope this is seen as a positive, and not disloyal in any way," he said.

"Following speculation about my future at Newcastle United, I have decided to make it clear that I am committed to the club until at least the end of this season, and I have informed them I do not want to make a decision about my future until that time.

I have no intention of leaving Newcastle United during the January transfer window

Michael Owen
"I am happy here and enjoy the challenge. It is simply a matter of seriously thinking about my future as I was 29 last week and my next career decision is a crucial one.

"My decision is not about money. I told the club some months ago that I would accept a reduction in my wages.

"I have no intention of leaving Newcastle United during the January transfer window and want to assure the fans that under Joe Kinnear's passionate management, I am committed to ensuring the club ends the season on a high."

Owen has scored 29 goals for Newcastle since joining from Real Madrid for 17m in 2005 and remains a key player, but he has been unable to force his way into England boss Fabio Capello's plans and Newcastle's difficulties on and off the field have not aided his cause.

I am still optimistic that he will stay with us when it comes to making a decision

Magpies boss Joe Kinnear
As he is out of contract at the end of the season, the former Liverpool star will be able to negotiate with other teams about a transfer from January.

While Newcastle fans will be comforted that Owen will be around to try to help them stave off relegation, the speculation over his future - with Manchester City and Everton also linked with the player - is sure now to continue throughout the season.

Kinnear remains optimistic his leading striker, who he said had received a "very good offer", still has a long-term future on Tyneside.

"Michael told me in person about his decision and I fully understand where he is coming from," Kinnear told the club's website.

"We have a great relationship as captain and manager and that will certainly continue.

"He is focused on scoring goals for Newcastle United and helping us keep progressing this season.

"Michael will consider his options in the summer but I am still optimistic that he will stay with us when it comes to making a decision.

Owen denies links with other clubs

"In the meantime I have no doubts whatsoever that he will continue to give 100%.

"I'm looking forward to him continuing to score goals for us as they will be crucial in what we do for the rest of the season."

As well as Owen, Newcastle have also offered new contracts to midfielder Nicky Butt, striker Shola Ameobi and keeper Steve Harper.

Kinnear said recently he was hopeful they would all sign on before the new year.

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see also
Kinnear backed for new signings
18 Dec 08 |  Newcastle
Portsmouth 0-3 Newcastle
14 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Owen talks delayed by 'turmoil'
06 Dec 08 |  Newcastle
Benitez rules out move for Owen
02 Dec 08 |  Liverpool
Magpies offer Owen improved deal
31 Aug 08 |  Newcastle
Owen is told to wait for new deal
17 Oct 07 |  Newcastle
Kinnear stays for rest of season
28 Nov 08 |  Newcastle

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Dewsbury Reporter Shepherd calls for Owen loyalty - 2 hrs ago
IC Newcastle Magpies must begin to prepare for life without Owen - 4 hrs ago
Sky Sports Kinnear confident over Owen - 4 hrs ago
Sporting Life KINNEAR WELCOMES OWEN DELAY - 4 hrs ago
Lancashire Evening Post Player prices himself out of big move - 6 hrs ago