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Newcastle are out of the bottom three after Alan Shearer’s side beat North-east rivals Middlesbrough 3-1. But with just two games left can they still beat the drop?

Newcastle United striker Michael Owen has denied reports that he intends to retire from football at the end of the season when his current contract expires.

It was claimed that the 29-year-old was set to take up a new career as a full-time racehorse trainer, but Owen’s management company have dismissed the suggestion as ”totally untrue and wrong.”

”Any suggestion or unfounded speculation that Michael Owen has any intention of quitting football is totally untrue and wrong,” read a statement from Wasserman Media Group.

”Michael remains as committed to his football career as he ever has been and is deeply and professionally offended that anyone should suggest otherwise.”

The statement continued: ”Michael Owen has instructed lawyers and will take action against any publication which he feels inaccurately or unfairly suggested he is quitting football and is damaging to his professional reputation.”

Although he is available to move on a free transfer in the summer only Everton have been linked with the player, and this lack of interest has led to speculation that he might decide to hang up his boots.

Owen, a former European Footballer of the year, has seen his career undermined in recent years by a succession of injuries which have severely restricted his playing time.

Owen has made just 70 league appearances for Newcastle since joining in 2005 and in recent months with Newcastle facing a relegation fight, supporters have been disappointed with Owen’s performances.

Owen was substituted against Middlesbrough on Monday and the england striker has not scored since the 2-2 draw with West Ham United on January 10.

On Friday Newcastle boss Alan Shearer dismissed the retirement claims, saying: ”He doesn’t need it, doesn’t deserve it. The stories that are out this morning are totally ludicrous and totally untrue as far as he’s concerned, and he has laughed them off. But Michael Owen is a big-name player and sometimes will attract headlines.’

”I am 100% certain he will have a future in the Premier League. But as to where that will be, here or elsewhere, that’s for a discussion at the end of the season.”

Newcastle are out of the bottom three after Alan Shearer’s side beat North-east rivals Middlesbrough 3-1. But with just two games left can they still beat the drop?

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