Owen has agreed to go to Newcastle

Real Madrid told Michael Owen he can leave only on a permanent deal after accepting an Ј18million bid from Newcastle. That is a shattering blow to his hopes of a dream return to Anfield. Real want Kop boss Rafa Benitez to match Toon’s bid. But after he left Liverpool for Ј8m last year, Benitez is unlikely to pay more than double to get Owen back. Owen, 25, admitted yesterday he is holding out for a Kop bid — although he would be prepared to join Newcastle, but only on loan. Boss Graeme Souness put a loan deal to Real president Florentino Perez, but it was dismissed. Geordies chairman Freddy Shepherd’s response to take Owen off Real’s hands on a permanent basis is now the move Perez favours . The fee would be a club record for Newcastle — topping the Ј15m they paid Blackburn for Alan Shearer nine years ago. Owen said his ideal situation was to start the season in the Real Madrid team and if not he would prefer to return to Liverpool. But if the transfer cannot be finalised in time he has agreed to go to Newcastle — but only on a one-year loan, The Sun reports.

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