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England play Russia tonight on the crest of a wave but will they be able to cope with the plastic pitch? Click here for latest odds and betting!

Newcastle striker Michael Owen no longer enjoys a buy-out clause in his contract and he will have to prove his long term fitness before a new deal will be offered.

Owen has suffered a series of injury setbacks since joining Newcastle from Real Madrid in 2005.

The 27-year-old has less than two years left on his current deal, but Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce is in no rush to sit down for fresh talks.

“I’d like to see him play for the next 20 games on the trot or more and then enter into a new contract,” he said.

“The most important thing is that he’s available for selection every week and we can control it.”

“Whether that means we lose him at the end of the day or not is non-negotiable because if it happens it happens but we want to see him fit, playing and scoring on a regular basis.

“When Michael is fit and scoring every week all managers would want him in their side,” said Allardyce, whose comments were reported in several newspapers.

Magpies chairman Chris Mort added thaat there was no chance he could leave in a cut-price deal.

He said: “There was a clause in Michael’s contract which allowed him to leave for a certain fee during the last transfer window and the summer before that as well, but that sort of clause does not exist any longer.”

Owen has been sidelined with knee, foot and groin injuries since agreeing a £17m move to Newcastle in August 2005.


England play Russia tonight on the crest of a wave but will they be able to cope with the plastic pitch? Click here for latest odds and betting!

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