Newcastle United goalkeeper Steve Harper says it's crucial the club secures striker Michael Owen to a new contract.

"We must keep hold of Michael and I'm sure we will," said Harper. "He's proved on the pitch and away from it that he's a leader. His commitment here has never been in doubt but now he's been given an injury-free run he's proved what an asset and class act he really is. He's leading by example, scoring goals and dictating play in a new position for him but he's really taken to it.

"Hopefully he can lead this club for the foreseeable future. The aim here is to win a trophy. That's what Kevin wants to do, that's what Michael wants to do, that's what we all want to do."