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Michael Owen begged Jamie Carragher to help secure Liverpool return before Manchester United move

The former England forward admits he never wanted to leave the Reds in 2004

Jack Austin
Monday 05 September 2016 15:03
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Michael Owen pleaded with Jamie Carragher to help with a Liverpool return
Michael Owen pleaded with Jamie Carragher to help with a Liverpool return

Michael Owen has admitted he begged Jamie Carragher to help secure him a move back to Liverpool and only joined rivals Manchester United once it failed to materialise.

The former England striker scored more than 150 goals for the Reds before trading Anfield for the Bernabeu when he joined Real Madrid in 2004 for £8m.

However, Owen only lasted a season in LaLiga and was itching for a move back to his boyhood club, only to instead join Newcastle United after circumstances dictated he was unable to return to Liverpool.

“At every stage – every summer – I was on the phone to Carra (Carragher) telling him to find a way to get me back,” Owen tells The Independent’s Simon Hughes in his new book Ring of Fire.

“’Does Rafa (Benitez) want me?’ I’d say. ‘Does Kenny (Dalglish) want me? Does Brendan (Rodgers) want me?’ It was circumstance that stopped it happening.

“Whenever I was available, Liverpool had too many strikers. And when Liverpool wanted me, I was injured. By the end, I wasn’t the player I had been before and they simply didn’t fancy me. I wasn’t good enough.”

After Newcastle’s relegation in 2009, Owen was again on the lookout for a new club with Liverpool still his first choice, only to be told he was not wanted anymore.

Michael Owen was persuaded to sign for Manchester United by Sir Alex Ferguson

That left Manchester United as the frontrunners for his signature and despite the animosity between Liverpool and the Red Devils, it was a conversation with Sir Alex Ferguson which convinced him to move to Old Trafford.

Owen only managed five Premier League goals in his three years in Manchester before joining Stoke City, but the former England international still questions whether he should have just quit football.

He added: “I spoke to Carra and tried to get Benitez to do something. I wanted to try and put it right somehow.

“When it became clear Benitez didn’t want to do a deal, I spoke again with Ferguson. He was very positive about me. I was 29 years old. Should I have decided to retire then and there?”

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