Newcastle manager Alan Shearer has labelled reports on Friday stating striker Michael Owen will retire at the end of the season as "ludicrous".
The 29-year-old has not scored since 10 January and was recently left out of the starting XI to face Liverpool and substituted against Middlesbrough.
"He doesn't need it, doesn't deserve it," said Shearer.
"The stories out are totally ludicrous and untrue as far as he's concerned, and he has laughed them off."
Owen's management company released a statement saying the player is "deeply and professionally offended" by the reports, adding: "Any suggestion or unfounded speculation that Michael Owen has any intention of quitting football is totally untrue and wrong."
Temporary manager Shearer, whose team moved out of the bottom three last Monday with victory over Boro, has backed his former England and Newcastle team-mate to start finding the net again.
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