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Newcastle bring forward new contract talks with Owen

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

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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