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Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 17:30 UK

Hull 'serious' about bid for Owen

Michael Owen
Owen's four years on Tyneside have been blighted by injury

Hull City chairman Paul Duffen has made it clear that the club have a genuine interest in signing England and Newcastle striker Michael Owen.

Owen, 29, has confirmed he will leave the relegated Magpies when his contract expires at the end of June and is available on a free transfer.

And Duffen told BBC Radio Humberside: "The interest is very serious.

"We can give him reasons why we believe a move to Hull City would be a good decision for his career right now."

But Duffen admits there is a long way to go before any deal can be struck with the former Liverpool and Real Madrid star.

"Michael's a consummate professional and is not going to talk to any club until his current contract with Newcastle expires on 30 June and therefore there's no active conversation," added Duffen.

"It's obviously a long shot because there'll be a number of other clubs lining up to turn his head in their direction as well but it would be absolutely right to say we are very interested."

Tigers boss Phil Brown told the Hull Daily Mail: "We'll speak to him within a week. I wouldn't sit down with him if I thought I was wasting my time."

Brown is adamant the lure of first-team football could tempt the England striker to East Yorkshire.

He added on Talksport: "I don't think Michael will go for the best financial offer, I don't think it's about that for him at this stage of his career, he'll want the best offer for his future.

606: DEBATE
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"He needs to spend a high percentage of next season's games at the highest possible level and that's where we can come in.

"There has been a lot of documentation about injuries and being unable to fulfil contracts because he can't get on the field of play.

"But as far as I'm concerned, with a good pre-season under his belt, he's still a quality player."

Owen rejected a new deal at St James' Park at the turn of the year and on Monday stated his desire to remain in English football's top flight.

"I don't think I'm going to be re-signing at Newcastle and I would prefer to play in the Premier League or a top division somewhere else," he stated.

"I'm still a Newcastle player but it will only be for a matter of weeks."

The announcement was not surprising as the Magpies attempt to slash their wage bill following their relegation.

Owen is widely reported to be earning more than £100,000-a-week at Newcastle after signing a four-year deal when he moved from Spanish side Real Madrid in August 2005 for a club record fee of £16m.

The Premier League is where I feel I belong

Newcastle striker Michael Owen

Even though he is available on a free transfer his time on Tyneside has been plagued by injury problems, including a broken metatarsal bone, knee ligament damage sustained at the 2006 World Cup, a double hernia operation and a thigh problem.

Earlier in June, Owen's management company sent a brochure to potential buyers to remind them of the talent that resulted in him scoring 158 goals in about 300 games for Liverpool and 40 goals in 89 appearances for England.

"There are plenty of clubs who would interest me but we will see where that is, whether that's home or abroad," said Owen.

"There has been a lot of interest from abroad and quite a bit from at home as well.

"Obviously, the Premier League is where I feel I belong. I played a year out in Spain and enjoyed it at Real Madrid but it definitely confirmed to me that I prefer the Premier League.

"So if it was to be a good English club, that would be my preference but I have had quite a lot of interest from abroad, so I wouldn't rule that out."

Last season Owen scored 10 goals in all competitions, although an ankle injury and groin operation forced him to miss five games.

The forward has made 79 appearances for the Magpies and scored 30 goals in four seasons.

Owen has also recently been linked with a move to Aston Villa and Everton.



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