The Daily Telegraph is today reporting that Manchester City are having a hearty sniff around Michael Owen, and they like the sweet smells that are trickling up their nostrils. It seems that wily Owen duped Newcastle United into giving him the mother of all get out clauses, one in which the amount that Newcastle have to accept for their star striker actually decreases the longer he spends there. Looks like Mickey really didn’t intend on spending much time at Newcastle.
A mystery source close to Newcastle told the Telegraph:
“The get-out clause that Michael Owen demanded when he signed for Newcastle will become active again next summer. Each year his value on the books is reduced and by next summer it will be in the region of Â£5 million to Â£6 million.That means that Manchester City or any other club can come in and trigger his release by matching that figure. Newcastle are powerless to stop him moving on. Manchester City wouldn’t be his ideal choice, but none of the big four was interested in him this year.Newcastle would probably be wise to sell him in January if they could because they would obviously land a bigger fee. In any case, they dare not let him get into the final year of his deal without signing a new one because he could then leave for nothing on June 30, 2009.”
The fact that Owen could leave for Man City for as little as Â£6 million in the summer is clearly the reason for Big Sam’s continued grumpiness. Newcastle bought Owen from Real Madrid in a Â£17 million transfer deal, they paid him Â£120,000 per week, during his time at Newcastle he has almost played more games for England than the Toon. He scores when he plays, which sounds less and less comforting every week.
So given his Harry Kewellesque career at Newcastle so far, would anyone want to take a gamble on Mickey’s dodgy fitness?