Significantly, the club are now prepared to increase Owens £5million-a-year salary.

The turnaround came after Arsenals 3-0 drubbing of the Magpies and signals a major change in billionaire owner Mike Ashley's wage policy.

The 28 year old will be able to sign a pre-contract deal with a new club in January as he looks to head back to the North West.

After the sale of James Milner to Aston Villa, Ashley has acted swiftly to try to defuse a fans revolt.