Kinnear 'not confident' of Owen deal

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Football News

Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear has admitted he has a battle on his hands to persuade skipper Michael Owen his future remains on Tyneside.

The 61-year-old will sit down with the England international on Tuesday with a new contract offer on the table amid speculation mounting that his time at St James' Park is drawing to a close.

Kinnear said: "We have heard lots of things, that Michael's agent has had lots of clubs on to him."

He added: "Obviously, they will want to know what type of contract we are going to offer him.

"I won't go into those details now, but we will be offering him what we consider an excellent contract considering the climate of what is happening around all football clubs.

"But it will be up to Michael to make that decision.

"I am pretty confident that Shola Ameobi, Steve Harper and Nicky Butt will sign, it's now just down to Michael."

Kinnear made no secret of his desire to tie up Owen's future - as did Kevin Keegan before him - and has left the player in little doubt as to his feelings on the matter.

He said: "Michael is well aware of that, so is his agent. They are well aware of my feelings on that, but the ball is in his court.

"I will find out, hopefully, on Tuesday. I'm not confident, to be honest. I'm pretty confident about everybody else, but Michael is a different kettle of fish."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

Steve Harper
Michael Owen
Shola Ameobi
Nicky Butt
Kevin Keegan

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