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Page last updated at 08:31 GMT, Thursday, 18 December 2008

Kinnear backed for new signings

Joe Kinnear and Mike Ashley
Kinnear (r) may be given money to spend by Ashley next month

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley insists interim manager Joe Kinnear will choose any players the club might sign when the transfer window opens in January.

"It is up to Joe. If it's a player that costs 30m then I can absolutely say 'I don't think so'," Ashley told The Sun.

"But will he able to get the players he wants to tinker with the team and change the balance? The answer's yes."

Kinnear took charge in September after the resignation of Kevin Keegan, who cited a lack of control over transfers.

Keegan's departure led supporters to demonstrate against Ashley, who later put Newcastle up for sale.

"I've definitely got some money although whether I will give it to him (Kinnear) or not is another question," added Ashley.

"Joe realises that Newcastle don't have a bottomless pit of money so he will be very careful with what he does."

Kinnear is also trying to persuade striker Michael Owen to sign a contract.

Owen, whose current contract is due to expire next summer, has been offered a new deal by the club.

There has been no formal response from the 29-year-old England international, although sources close to Owen have insisted he has not rejected Newcastle's offer.

Kinnear has indicated that Owen will not be sold in January, even if there is a risk he could leave St James' Park on a free transfer at the end of the season.

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see also
Magpies name Kinnear interim boss
26 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Kinnear agrees Magpies extension
24 Oct 08 |  Newcastle
Ashley puts Newcastle up for sale
14 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Fans' fury at Keegan exit
04 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Keegan resigns as Newcastle boss
04 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Owen offered new Magpies contract
15 Dec 08 |  Newcastle
Owen talks delayed by 'turmoil'
06 Dec 08 |  Newcastle

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