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Magpies to open Owen talks
24 Apr 2008 - 13:22:18
Newcastle United chairman Chris Mort is hoping to open negotiations over a new contract with Michael Owen in the coming weeks.
Owen, who has bagged six goals in his last six games for the Magpies, will have one year remaining on his existing deal at the end of the campaign and Mort is hoping to secure his long-term future at the earliest possible opportunity.
The England striker has endured an injury-ravaged three-year spell on Tyneside where he has started just 34 league games since a £16million arrival from Real Madrid.
"We hope Michael will be around for a long time," Mort told the Newcastle Journal.
"He has been very impressive this season, not just in terms of the goals he has scored, but also in the influence he has had on the dressing room and how hard he has worked for the team.
"I've seen the statistics and the amount of ground he covers in each game is remarkable.
"He is clearly somebody who is very important to us as a club and we believe he wants to stay with us as well.
"He was very unlucky with injuries when he first came to Newcastle, but he has proved his value to the side now that he is over those problems.
"It isn't just the chances he is creating and the goals he is scoring, he has had a very positive impact on the team and the dressing room as a captain as well and that's been just as important to us and the manager.
"He has been a really important figure and has had a big part to play as results have improved."