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Report: Owen almost at Real Madrid
By The Source
Aug 10, 2004

London, England (Sports Network) - Liverpool star Michael Owen is close to making a surprise move to Spanish giants Real Madrid, according to published reports.

Owen, 24, was in negotiations on Monday night with Real, according to British tabloid The Sun.

Liverpool had been trying to work out a reasonable contract extension for the England international, as negotiations have been ongoing for weeks. But the two sides apparently hit a snag, prompting the unsuspecting swoop by Real.

The timing of the move comes as a surprise as Liverpool is set to play its first competitive match Tuesday in Champions League third-round qualifying. Owen's availability for the match on the road against Austrian side Graz AK is currently unknown.

"Michael is on the list at the moment," Reds manager Rafael Benitez told the newspaper. "We have an important game and we will see to that -- and then talk afterwards."

Real expressed its willingness to add a "galactico" again this summer. They have previously acquired world-class players such as Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham in succession over the past four years. Real, though, has also been involved in serious talks with Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira over the last week.

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