While he's pessimistic about holding onto Michael Owen, Newcastle United boss Joe Kinnear is confident of keeping his other off contract players.

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

"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."