Liverpool striker Michael Owen wis to join Real Madrid in an £8m plus player deal according to a source close to the club.

Real have sanctioned the inclusion of the 25-year-old right-sided midfielder Antonio Nunez as a makeweight in the Owen deal.

Owen was left on the bench for Liverpool’s Champions League game against Graz AK on Tuesday, a decision which fuelled speculation that a move to Madrid was imminent.

With just one year left on his Liverpool contract, the Anfield club would be forced to release Owen on a free transfer in 12 months time.

Owen will need to travel to Spain for a medical and to discuss personal terms on what is likely to be a five-year contract

“I’ll be disappointed if we lose Michael, as a friend but more importantly as a footballer,” said friend and team mate Jamie Carragher.

“He has been our main goalscorer for the past six or seven years. When people around the world think of Liverpool at present, they think of Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen. But he will get a lot of pats on the back from the players here, the training staff and the supporters.

“We have a new manager at Liverpool now and maybe it will take us a year or two to get back up to the top, so this might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Michael.”

“When he (Owen) goes down to the England squad he’s one of the best players there and sees players who aren’t as good as him with more medals and championships,” added Carrragher.

“Maybe that’s something he wants to rectify.”