Owen claims he never wanted to quit Merseyside for the Bernabeu, and was itching for a return to his old stomping ground after just 12 months in La Liga.
"At every stage - every summer - I was on the phone to Carra (Jamie Carragher) telling him to find a way to get me back," says Owen in new book Ring of Fire .
"'Does Rafa want me?' I'd say. 'Does Kenny want me? Does Brendan want me?' It was circumstance that stopped it happening."
He added: "I spoke to Carra and tried to get (Rafa) Benitez to do something. I wanted to try to put it right somehow.
"When it became clear Benitez didn't want to do a deal, I spoke again with (Alex) Ferguson. He was very positive about me. I was twenty-nine years old. Should I have decided to retire there and then?"