Barmby makes Owen plea
Nick Barmby believes Michael Owen could make England's World Cup squad if he joins him at Hull City. The 29-year-old is now officially a free agent following the expiration of his Newcastle contract and must decide where to continue his career. Tigers boss Phil Brown has made no secret of his desire to land Owen and while the player is expected to receive offers from elsewhere, it is Hull that have most publically courted his services. Barmby and Owen played in the same Liverpool side that won a cup treble in 2001 and were also together in the England team that memorably thrashed Germany 5-1 later that year. Veteran midfielder Barmby, 35, is now preparing for Hull's second season of Premier League football and would love Owen to join him at the KC Stadium. Fantastic dealBarmby said: "He is a wonderful footballer and it is fantastic for the club to be linked with these players. "I'm not sure whether we are close to a deal or close to talking - but that would be fantastic. "He is 29, still has a burning desire to be in a World Cup squad and whoever gets him - and hopefully it will be us - will have a great asset. "It's Michael's decision but it would be fantastic for us and our fans to have someone like him playing for this club." Although Owen's stock has fallen considerably since moving to Newcastle four years ago in a £17million from Real Madrid, Barmby is adamant that he remains a striker of the highest calibre. "If you give him chances he will get you goals," said Barmby. "He's had a few bad injuries and the form at Newcastle with the relegation dogfight made it difficult, but if he is in a team that is creating chances he will definitely score goals. Class act"That is one thing you don't lose." Hull chairman Paul Duffen is keen to speak to him and believes he can make an attractive offer. He said: "It is a very competitive environment; a lot of people want to sign Michael Owen. "But I believe we could structure a deal with Michael that would make it very interesting for him to come and play football at club where he has the chance of starting every week and of scoring goals to get his career back on track."
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