Newcastle bring forward new contract talks with Owen

Newcastle United have stepped up new contract talks with Michael Owen.

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The Times says after holding initial discussions last month, the club and player will attempt to reach an agreement about extending a deal that has 12 months to run. With Owen expressing optimism yesterday that Newcastle can challenge for a Uefa Cup place next season, his representatives will sit down with club officials in the week beginning on June 15.

Owen earns £115,000 a week, a figure that does not sit comfortably with the club's desire for financial restraint, and there have been reports that he will not be offered more than £80,000 a week.

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