Hull still in chase for Owen

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The Independent Football

Hull remain hopeful they can entice Michael Owen to the KC Stadium after his Newcastle contract expires tomorrow.

The Tigers are one of the few English clubs to have publicly declared their interest in signing the former Liverpool and Real Madrid forward although the 29-year-old is not likely to be short of offers.

Neither manager Phil Brown nor chairman Paul Duffen have had contact with Owen but they are hoping for a chance to meet as the player officially becomes a free agent this week.

A move to sign England's fourth highest goalscorer would be audacious on Hull's part and Duffen insists it is no gimmick.

Duffen said: "Whether we get to speak to Michael tomorrow or not I don't know, there are a lot of people that want to speak to him tomorrow.

"But we will certainly make sure we have a dialogue.

"It is a very competitive environment, a lot of people want to sign Michael Owen.

"He has had a fantastic career and I believe he still has a lot to offer to the Premier League.

"I have heard there are clubs from all over Europe interested and we have to accept we are not a Champions League club - we are who we are.

"But I believe we could structure a deal with Michael that would make it very interesting for him to come and play football at club where he has the chance of starting every week and scoring goals to get his career back on track."

Hull are currently involved in negotiations to sign two other strikers in Marc-Antoine Fortune of Nancy and Manchester United's Fraizer Campbell.

Terms have been agreed with both players and their respective clubs but neither has yet committed.

Fortune, who impressed on loan at West Brom last season, was thought to be edging towards Hull in the face of an offer from Celtic but West Ham are now said to be interested.

The club are still hopeful of capturing the 27-year-old Frenchman but Brown admits he cannot afford to wait much longer for a decision.

Brown said: "It hasn't moved forward in the last 48 hours.

"We are confident we are still in the pole position but these things are always a concern when they are not done and dusted.

"If there is not a decision in the next 24 or 48 hours we are going to have to move on to other players."

Hull had what is believed to be a club record £6m offer accepted by United for Campbell earlier in the summer but have been unable to make progress due to his involvement in the European Under-21 Championship.

Campbell, 21, is a huge favourite at Hull after a successful loan in 2007-08 but the matter has now been complicated by reported interest from Sunderland.

Brown added: "We have been in constant contact with Manchester United, Fraizer and his father and hopefully we can now sit down and draft a deal before he goes on his family holiday."

Brown and Duffen were speaking at the launch of the club's new kit for the 2009-10 season and the announcement of a "substantial" two-year sponsorship deal with betting firm Totesport.

The pair are anxious to add to the Tigers squad after narrowly avoiding relegation from the Barclays Premier League last term and added that they have several other targets in mind.

"We will strengthen this club this summer, we will bring in strikers," Duffen said.

"It will mean we can compete with an ambition to finish mid-table rather than scrapping at the bottom - but we are only going to do it on the basis that it doesn't threaten the financial security of the football club."