Shearer rubbishes Owen retirement reports

Newcastle manager Alan Shearer has rubbished reports that Michael Owen is to retire at the end of the season, and remains confident the striker can silence his critics by firing the Magpies to Premier League safety.

The injury-plagued front-man has endured another frustrating campaign for the Toon in 2008/09, managing 10 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions - his last in a 2-2 draw with West Ham in January.

But Shearer believes his former international strike-partner will have the last laugh come the end of the season.

"He'll always have the chance to have the last laugh," he said.

"My mind will never change. If you give Michael chances, eventually he will score goals. I have no doubt about that.

"The stories that are out this morning are totally ludicrous and totally untrue, he has laughed them off."

Owen is out of contract at St James' Park this summer, with Manchester City, Aston Villa and Everton all reportedly interested in offering the striker - who has scored 40 goals in 89 outings for his country - a deal for next season.

And Shearer believes the former Liverpool man will still have plenty to offer in 2009/10, whereever he chooses to ply his trade.

"Michael is a big-name player and sometimes will attract headlines. I am 100 percent certain he will have a future in the Premier League.

"As to where that will be, here or elsewhere, that's for a discussion at the end of the season."

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