Reports coming from Merseyside suggest that former Reds hero Michael Owen wants to move back home to England and to Anfield. The Liverpool Echo has reported the story as an exclusive this afternoon, but the story does reflect other stories we have heard in recent weeks.
Owen moved to Real Madrid for £8million last summer and after a tough start to his Spanish career he became a first-choice member of the team by the end of the season. According to the reports though Owen is desperately unhappy at Madrid – not just with the football but with being so far away from his family.
It’s no secret that Owen has always had a very close-knit family – he bought his parents and siblings practically every house in a little close in his home village of Hawarden in North Wales, and at the time his own house was in the same village. Owen now has a mansion in another village in North Wales, just down the road from Hawarden, and would like to spend more time there with his new wife Louise and their daughter.
Many rumours since Owen joined Madrid say that Liverpool have a deal to be given first refusal on the player should he leave Madrid. This has never been confirmed officially, and with Real’s recent decision to go back on a verbal agreement with Figo over a free transfer, there’s no saying they would stick to it.
The problem for Owen is that he reportedly only wants to move back to Anfield – no other English club interests him. Chelsea and Arsenal would still be too far away for Michael and Louise from their long-time home. The only other club that would be able to afford Owen and still be in driving distance from his North Wales roots would be Manchester United – and Owen just won’t consider a move to a team he’s always considered the enemy. If Liverpool is the only club he wants to play for, he needs to persuade Rick Parry and Rafa Benitez that they should take him back.
Rafa Benitez has been carefully planning with Rick Parry how to spend the transfer budget. Money has already been spent on the likes of Jose Reina and Momo Sissoko, and Benitez has admitted that he is interested in bringing Peter Crouch in from Southampton.
The reports claim that Liverpool are talking about the idea of bringing Owen back to Anfield in a twelve-month loan deal. The reports also claim that this is not necessarily something that Real are offering.
Owen flew to America yesterday along with another Liverpool target Luis Figo as Real started their summer tour. Further to what we reported earlier, it now seems that the only stumbling block left for Figo’s move to Anfield is how much he gets in a contract settlement from Real. Inter Milan are still interested.