Owen decision will please Madrid either way
MADRID, Spain (AP) _ Real Madrid will be happy whatever decision striker Michael Owen takes about his future, the club's director of communication said Thursday.
The striker said earlier in the week he would prefer to rejoin Liverpool, where he spent the first eight seasons of his career, and would only consider a season's loan at Newcastle.
"It's his agent that is negotiating with Newcastle, but we are in a win-win situation. If he stays we're delighted _ he's a great guy _ if he goes we get a lot of money," Madrid's Antonio Garcia Ferreras told the Associated Press on Thursday.
If the striker chooses to stay for a second season with Madrid, he risks spending most of another year on the bench behind Ronaldo, Raul Gonzalez and new Brazilian signings Robinho and Julio Baptista with the World Cup looming.
Madrid captain Raul said he would like the England striker to stay.
"I do not know if he is going to leave. He has proved he is a really great player by scoring goals in his season here," Raul was quoted as saying on the Web site of leading sports daily Marca.
"Hopefully he will stay with us because the season is long and we will need a lot of people. He has shown at Real Madrid that he is a great professional," he added.
Owen struggled to force his way past Ronaldo and Raul into the Madrid team last season, although he gained a starting place toward the end when Portugal midfielder Luis Figo was dropped. Figo joined Inter Milan in the summer.
Owen scored 16 goals for Madrid last season.