Manchester United and Newcastle have contacted Real Madrid about the possibility of signing striker Michael Owen.

A Real spokeswoman has revealed that United have expressed an interest in signing the 25-year-old England international.

Meanwhile, Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd has confirmed his club have had initial talks with the Spanish club.

“We’ve had a discussion with Madrid but we won’t be commenting further on any speculation,” Shepherd told the club’s official website.

Owen’s future at Real has been the subject of speculation since the arrival in Madrid of Brazilian duo Robinho and Julio Baptista.

Newcastle, who have lost Patrick Kluivert and Craig Bellamy in the close season, are desperate to land a striker, but they may struggle to persuade Owen to join them following their exit from European competition last week.