Michael Owen has admitted he is flattered at being a target for Newcastle, but insists he has no intention of quitting Real Madrid.
With Owen spending much of the time on the substitutes bench at Madrid, there have been a number of reports in recent weeks claiming he is prepared to quit the club after just one season.
Newcastle manager Graeme Souness has an interest, suggesting that Owen would be the perfect foil for Alan Shearer – provided the former England captain can be persuaded to postpone his retirement for another season.
Owen, though, seems prepared to bide his time in Spain.
“I’ve said it many times before that I’m happy in Madrid,” said the England striker.
“I admire Graeme Souness and I think he’s doing a good job.
“It’s always flattering to be linked with any club and especially one of Newcastle’s standing but I’m happy here.
“I’m not thinking about the end of this season.
“Of course I would like to play more but people don’t ask me questions about that when I am playing.
“I think the coach would be disappointed if I didn’t want to play more and I think that is the correct attitude to have. I’ve never said anything bad about the club or anybody else.
“And I’ve actually played a lot of games – few players have played more than I have – although I would have liked to have started more.
“You can’t say what will happen in the future in football.
“In an ideal world I would like to play more but I’m happy with life, I get on well with the players, I like the atmosphere in the ground and the fans like me.
“The only way I can play more is to do as well as I can when I’m given the chance.”