Newcastle to open Owen contract talks this week

Newcastle United are ready to open new contract talks with Michael Owen this week.

The Times says Chris Mort, the Newcastle chairman, has expressed his desire to retain the 28-year-old, yet the club were reluctant to offer terms until their league status was settled. There is also a general desire to reduce the wage bill, an aspiration that does not sit comfortably with Owen's £115,000 weekly pay packet, although that is not expected to be a complicating factor.

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