Owen confirms Newcastle exit plan
The Magpies striker has admitted that he has no plans to remain at St James' Park following the club's relegation to the Championship. Hull are the latest club to have expressed an interest in signing him, while Aston Villa, Manchester City and Merseyside duo Everton and Liverpool are also reportedly monitoring developments. Owen admits that his preference would be to remain in England this summer when his contract expires - but he refused to rule out a fresh move to the continent. The England international has already experienced life playing in Europe after spending a season with Real Madrid in 2004. "It remains to be seen where I am going to go, there are plenty of clubs that would interest me, but we will see where that is, whether it is at home or abroad," he told Sky Sports News. "There has been a lot of interest from abroad and quite a bit from home as well, but obviously the Premier League is where I feel I belong. "I played a year out in Spain and enjoyed it at Real Madrid but that confirmed to me that I definitely prefer the Premier League so if it was to be a good English club that would be my preference but I have had a lot of interest from abroad so I wouldn't rule that out. "I am still contracted to Newcastle for a few weeks, so that is where I am at the minute - I don't think I am going to be re-signing at Newcastle, as one I don't think I am going to be offered a new contract and I want to play in the Premier League or a top division somewhere else." Hull City are the latest side said to be ready to offer him a contract, but Owen admits he was not aware of the interest from the Tigers at this stage. "I haven't been made aware of that, it is a new one - but I have been linked with virtually every team in last few weeks," he continued. "I will sit down but I don't think it is fair to Newcastle at the moment - I had four enjoyable years there, and I am very sorry to leave them when they are going to be in the Championship so I wouldn't like to talk about specific clubs about who I am going to join." Owen admits it has been hard reading a lot of negative press about him over the past 12 months. "There is a lot said and written about me in the last few weeks and not many nice things, but that is life!" he said. "I have got skin thicker than 99.9 per cent of the population, I get used to it - people write you off but when I scored a goal in the World Cup at 18, people were writing me off six months later, then I was scoring a hat-trick in Germany and winning with Liverpool and then they write you off again. "Somebody will always criticise you no matter what, so if you let that effect you, I wouldn't be where I am today - yes I prefer people to say nice things about me as it is not as if I have murdered someone, but you get more criticism as a footballer and you have to be thick skinned."
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