Kevin Keegan is desperate for the board to secure the services of his skipper and star striker on a long-term contract. But more than six weeks after negotiations were supposed to start, Owen's representatives are still waiting for a first proper meeting.
Any move to cut Owen's current salary of £120,000 a week to nearer £80,000 could end his three-year stint at St James' Park.
Everton would be interested in exploring the possibility of luring the former Liverpool star back to Merseyside. It was the team he supported as a boy and where his father Terry once played. Given the opportunity to play for the right club, Owen would probably take a pay cut.