Owen holds up contract talks | inside World Soccer

Owen holds up contract talks

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Michael Owen has told Newcastle he will not make a decision on his future until next summer.

The 29-year-old refused to consecrate his long-term future at St. James' Park but has committed himself to the Toon until the end of his current contract.

He was offered a three-year deal with a £25,000 pay cut on his current £105,000-a-week wage and a series of bonuses — including if he plays in at least 80 percent of matches — added in.

Owen said in a statement released on his behalf on Monday: "Following speculation about my future at Newcastle United, I have decided today to make it clear that I am committed to the club until at least the end of this season, and I have informed them I do not want to make a decision about my future until that time.

"I hope this will be seen as a positive step and not seen as being disloyal in any way.

"I am happy here and enjoy the challenge. It is simply a matter of seriously thinking about my future as I was 29 last week and my next career decision is a crucial one.

"My decision is not about money. I told the club some months ago that I would accept a reduction in my wages.

"I have no intention of leaving Newcastle United during the January transfer window and want to assure the fans that under Joe Kinnear's passionate management, I am committed with the rest of the players to ensure that the club ends the season on a high."

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