Villa target Owen
Michael Owen has emerged as a January transfer target for Aston Villa. United's bit-part striker is being lined up for a mid-term swoop by Villa Park's newly-installed manager Gerard Houllier. The Frenchman and Owen had a productive time at Liverpool together. And the new Villa chief has already said he would have no problem working with some of his former players again, having met Owen at Jamie Carragher's recent testimonial. At Jamie Carragher's testimonial last weekend, I came across a few players that had left during my time there at Liverpool, said Houllier. There was not a problem and there will be no problem. We can work together. Houllier's period as Anfield boss from 1998 to 2004 saw Owen top Liverpool's goalscoring chart every season. Appearance The year 2001 was a sensational year with Houllier engineering five pieces of silverware with the UEFA Cup, Super Cup, FA Cup, League Cup and Community Shield. Owen won medals in all five triumphs and his European exploits saw him win the European Footballer of the Year Ballon D'Or award nine years ago. It was only when Houllier was sacked in 2004 that Owen's Liverpool career ended and he left for Real Madrid. Now the Anglo-French axis is being eyed as a spearhead for Houllier's new era at Villa Park. Owen has failed to gain a regular place at Old Trafford since his free transfer move in the summer of 2009 after his contract at Newcastle ended last year. Last season he started 11 matches and came on as a substitute in 20, scoring nine goals. The 30-year-old started the Community Shield against Chelsea but has only made a 16-minute appearance as a sub at Fulham and the same amount of time against Newcastle. Only last week the striker said he was keen to play for England again, but he would need regular football if he is to have any chance of that and Houllier could possibly offer him more pitch time.
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