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Page last updated at 13:06 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 14:06 UK

Stoke join race to capture Owen

Michael Owen
Owen joined Newcastle from Real Madrid in August 2005

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has said that the Potters will contact Michael Owen's representatives in a bid to sign the England striker.

Owen will be available on a free transfer at the end of June when his contract with Newcastle expires.

Coates told BBC Radio Stoke: "It's a phone call Tony [Pulis, Stoke manager] will make in due course. I've no doubt he's given it some thought.

"Owen is a very fine player and he'll be looking to see what's available."

Owen, who joined the Magpies for £16m from Real Madrid in August 2005, is thought to be earning over £100,000 a week at St James' Park and Coates acknowledged that his wage demands may be a sticking point.

You never say never in football, so of course I'd be interested in throwing my hat into the ring if it was ever viable

Tony Pulis

"That could become a problem we can't meet, but you can offset these things by not paying a transfer fee," said the City chairman.

Pulis, who guided Stoke to a 12th-placed finish in their first season in the Premier League, also said that he would be interested in bringing Owen to the Potteries.

"You never say never in football, so of course I'd be interested in throwing my hat into the ring if it was ever viable," he told The Sentinel newspaper.

"I'm not sure whether Michael would want to come here right now, but that situation could always change.

"He would be a great signing for this football club, and rest assured the fans would treat him as one of their own."

The former Liverpool striker has started just 58 games in his four seasons with Newcastle, and Pulis is well aware of his injury problems.

606: DEBATE
newSouth-West-Potter

"They've been well publicised, but if you've got a fit Michael Owen then you've got one hell of a player on your hands," said the former Gillingham boss.

Owen, who has scored 40 goals in 89 appearances for England, rejected a new deal at St James' Park at the turn of the year.

On Monday he confirmed that he would be leaving Newcastle, stating his desire to remain in the Premier League.

"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," said the 29-year-old.

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

"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."

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

Michael Owen

Owen's decision to leave Newcastle has alerted Stoke's Premier League rivals Hull City, who have already confirmed their interest in signing the former Liverpool frontman.

"The interest is very serious," Hull chairman Paul Duffen told BBC Radio Humberside.

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

"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."



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