Owen happy to open Newcastle contract talks

Newcastle striker Michael Owen insists the delay in signing a new contract is down to circumstances rather than a reluctance to stay with Toon.

Newcastle striker Michael Owen insists the delay in signing a new contract is down to circumstances rather than a reluctance to stay with Toon.

The 27 year old told the BBC: "We had a few meetings earlier on in the season and things were going fine.

"Then the manager left as did someone on the board who we were negotiating with and talks haven't picked up since.

"Before it gets twisted again, that's not me snubbing Newcastle.

"They've got bigger things to fry than sorting out my contract, or the contracts of Steven Harper, Shola Amoebi, Mark Viduka and Nicky Butt - there are a lot of people out of contract.

"They haven't got round to talking with the players. There's been a lot of turmoil at the club and I suppose they've been shuffled to the back of the queue."