Did Torres Deal Influence Owen Decision?

Last updated : 13 July 2007 By Footy Mad - Editor

When Newcastle paid Real Madrid £17m it is the worst kept secret in world football that Owen hung on while Liverpool were still interested in him. But when the Reds said they would go no further than £9m for him, they dropped out of the running.

How strange it was that Owen added a sell-on clause in his Newcastle contract for £9m, the very figure Liverpool were prepared to pay.

To add encouragement to Owen's hopes of a return to Anfield, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard urged the club to re-sign the player.

But time past, and even though on May 15th Sam Allardyce made it known he didn't know whether Owen was staying or going, it took Owen TWO MONTHS to finally say he was staying.

And reports coming from Merseyside claim the signing of striker Fernando Torres was the most significant event in Owen finally saying he was staying at Newcastle, because Liverpool obviously didn't want him.

The Atletico Madrid striker agreed a six-year contract last week after a club-record £20million move from Spain.

With Sam trying hard to sort out the unrest at the club, the last thing Newcastle fans wanted to hear was persistent rumours of Owen's lack of commitment.

Asked about the £9m option in Owen's contract on the day he was unveiled as Newcastle manager, Sam Allardyce said:

"It's not just about Michael Owen, it's about every player at this football club. I've got to find out the commitment of every player."

The Journal: "Owen must now hope Magpies fans take him at his word, rather than his agonising silence. If for the first time in his Tyneside career he can consistently become the player Newcastle thought they had bought from Madrid - a fit and prolific goalscorer - the rest will quickly forgotten.

"But if he fails to find form or if injuries prevent him improving a dismal United appearance record, the grumbles could quickly start. Allardyce, Owen and everyone else concerned will have to hope that does not happen."