Shearer denies Owen quit rumours

15 May 2009 09:55
Newcastle manager Alan Shearer has labelled reports on Friday stating striker Michael Owen will retire at the end of the season as "ludicrous".The 29-year-old has not scored since 10 January and was recently left out of the starting XI to face Liverpool and substituted against Middlesbrough. "He doesn't need it, doesn't deserve it," said Shearer. "The stories out are totally ludicrous and untrue as far as he's concerned, and he has laughed them off." Owen's management company released a statement saying the player is "deeply and professionally offended" by the reports, adding: "Any suggestion or unfounded speculation that Michael Owen has any intention of quitting football is totally untrue and wrong." Temporary manager Shearer, whose team moved out of the bottom three last Monday with victory over Boro, has backed his former England and Newcastle team-mate to start finding the net again. "Go out and score goals - the player has always got the last opportunity to go out and do the business on the football pitch," he added, ahead of Saturday's game against Fulham. "He always has the chance to have the last laugh. My mind will never change with Michael Owen - if you give him chances, eventually he will score goals, I have no doubt about that." Owen is out of contract at St James' Park at the end of the season and Shearer did not provide any clues to whether the former Liverpool and Real Madrid player would sign a new deal with the Magpies. Shearer added: "I am 100% certain he will have a future in the Premier League. "But as to where that will be, here or elsewhere, that's for a discussion at the end of the season." Owen signed for Newcastle in August 2005 for a club record fee of £16m. Since then the striker has been plagued by problems, including breaking a metatarsal bone, knee ligament damage at the 2006 World Cup, undergoing a double hernia operation and a thigh injury. This season, Owen, with 10 goals in all competitions during the campaign, has featured more regularly although an ankle injury and groin operation forced the forward to miss five games. The forward, who is widely reported to be earning more than £100,000-a-week at St James' Park, has made 65 appearances for the Magpies and scored 30 goals in four seasons.

Source: BBC_Sport