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Rafa rules out Owen return

03 May 2009 11:42:06

Rafa rules out Owen return

Rafa Benitez has played down speculation suggesting Liverpool are interested in bringing Michael Owen back to Merseyside. Owen is expected to find himself on the bench as Newcastle travel to Anfield on Sunday to face the Reds in a match with great significance at both ends of the table. Toon boss Alan Shearer has been widely tipped to leave the former Kop striker out of the Newcastle's starting XI after the 29-year-old failed to impress in the Magpies goalless draw against Portsmouth last Monday. Liverpool are expected to be lining up a striker to backup Fernando Torres after selling Robbie Keane back to Tottenham in the winter transfer window. But the Spaniard is adamant Owen will not be set for an emotional homecoming, similar to that of Kop idol Robbie Fowler who made his Anfield return in 2006. But Benitez told The Daily Star on Sunday: "I think it's a different situation to the Robbie Fowler one. Robbie knew it was a fantastic opportunity for him to come back. "He had been injured and had not played games in a row. And we were looking for a striker of his quality. We were looking for this kind of player. "He understood clearly what his role was. Michael is younger and still has a lot of years to play, so it is a different situation. "Clearly he's a top class striker so he will want to play every game. But as this moment we are really pleased with Fernando Torres."


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