Michael Owen's £9 million buyout clause in his Newcastle United contract is officially no more.

Contrary to speculation, the £9 million escape clause demanded by Owen's representatives when he joined does not apply again until after the end of the season.

"That option ran out at the end of July," a source told the Mail on Sunday. "The only way he'll be leaving Newcastle in January is if manager Sam Allardyce thinks it will be beneficial to the future of the team, and there's not much chance of that happening."