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Michael Owen has admitted holding discussions with “three or four” Premiership clubs amid speculation he wants to return to England.

The 25-year-old striker’s position at Real Madrid looks precarious following the arrivals of Brazilian duo Julio Baptista and Robinho at the Bernabeu.

Newcastle have confirmed their interest in Owen while Manchester United have also been linked with the England striker.

Owen said: “With Real’s knowledge there’s been brief dialogue although no formal negotiations have taken place.

“During my four days off, there have been two big signings confirmed by the club and I can understand why this has resulted in speculation about my future.

“Real Madrid contacted my advisers over the weekend and explained that they wanted me to stay but that they would not stand in my way if the right opportunity arose for me to return to the Premiership.”

Newcastle manager Graeme Souness is keen on Owen, but it has been reported that the striker would not leave Real for a club that had not qualified for the Champions League.

Despite speculation, Owen is in no hurry to leave Real after.

“I am off to Austria with the rest of the squad to undertake an important 14-day pre-season fitness programme and I do not envisage anything happening during this time,” he added.

“When I joined Real Madrid, I was considered by most people to be fourth-choice striker and yet I still managed to start 26 games and score 16 goals.

“I am confident that the Real Madrid president, Senor (Florentino) Perez, will have my best interests at heart whatever happens.

“In the meantime, I am preparing myself physically and mentally for the coming season and hopefully the World Cup which follows it.”

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