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Not a loan deal?

Brock Manson

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Newcastle have agreed a club-record transfer fee with Real Madrid for England striker Michael Owen.



The club's current record fee stands at the £15million paid for Alan Shearer in 1996.


"Newcastle United have met Real Madrid's asking price and conditions," said a statement on club website www.nufc.co.uk.


"The agreed fee will be a record transfer fee for Newcastle United.


"It is now up to the player and his advisor."


Earlier, Owen, 25, only declared himself willing to spend a season on loan at St James' Park, if his preferred option of a return to Liverpool failed to materialise.


He said: "I said that my ideal situation was to start the season in the Real Madrid team and if not I would prefer to return to Liverpool.


"The president understood and said he would try to help me achieve this. If the transfer cannot be finalised in time I have agreed to go to Newcastle United but only on a one-year loan. I need to be playing regularly in World Cup year."


Newcastle are desperate to recruit a striker and have struggled through the first two games of the Premiership season with Alan Shearer on his own up front.


Owen revealed earlier this month he had held "brief dialogue with three or four Premiership clubs", and on August 8 the Magpies chairman Freddy Shepherd admitted contacting Real Madrid with a view to a move.


Later that day Real spokesman Antonio Garcia Ferreras claimed Manchester United had also expressed an interest, a claim subsequently denied by the Red Devils.


On Tuesday Everton manager David Moyes revealed his club had spoken to Owen's representatives, but the player rejected a move to Goodison Park.


His heart is set on a move to Liverpool however, where he scored 158 goals in 297 games for the Reds, before leaving the club for Madrid last summer.


Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez insists his main priority is to sign a centre-back and already has Djibril Cisse, Fernando Morientes and Peter Crouch as his frontline strikers.


"I want other players first, I am happy with my five strikers even now Milan Baros has gone," the Spaniard said after his side's 3-2 aggregate win over CSKA Sofia in the Champions League.


The move would be a popular one among the club's supporters, who idolised Owen during his time at the club.


He scored 16 goals for Real last season despite being used primarily as a substitute behind Raul and Ronaldo, and with Robinho and Julio Baptista now on board his prospects of first-team football diminished further.


Real Madrid director of communications Antonio Garcia Ferreras confirmed his club had agreed a fee with Newcastle for Owen and also reported there was still no offer from Liverpool for their former player.


He said: "Real Madrid and Newcastle United have reached the principles of an agreement on the conditions of Michael Owen's transfer to the English club.


"There is still no agreement between Michael Owen and Newcastle. At the moment we have not received any offer from Liverpool."


Apologies if already posted but for the love of God is Fat Fuck so delusional? Get him on loan, don't want to scupper our chances of landing him at all. :wink2:

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