Michael Owen is close to signing a new contract with Liverpool, with teh England striker expected to extend his current deal, which has a year to run, for an additional two years.

Owen has been the subject of transfer speculation throughout the summer, and Liverpool have been desperate to tie him to a new contract for fear of him leaving on a free transfer in 12 months time. Memories of Steve McManaman’s Bosman move to Real Madrid 5 years ago, have not faded.

However, Owen, 24, has always maintained that there was no rush and that his decision would be based on ambition rather than money.

Regarding the contract, Owen explained: “There’s no rush… there’s no agreement but it’s close. Next week will iron more things out.

“Everyone in football is very ambitious and wants to win the big prizes… last year we were quite far away from winning the big prizes.”