Sunday, July 12, 2020
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As Gazza warbles a sad lament of his 1990 collaboration with Lindesfarne – SuperBrew back in hand – Newcastle FC drift unmanned through troubled waters. Captain-less and cast from port by owner Mike Ashley, the ship cuts a lonely path through the fog on the Tyne. 

Cue the exit of First Mate - club captain, Michael Owen - starboard.

The Arabs have never been a seafaring people, but City’s new owners seem to have a pirating instinct and the Middle-Eastlanders are eyeing an £8million swoop for 28 year-old Owen in January.

Having had their scouts sniffing around it has dawned on them that Robinho was the exception rather than the rule. In spite of the spondoolies on offer, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Lionel Messi are not looking to dovetail Dietmar Hamann and Stephen Ireland. 

Abu-Dhabi United Group have instead decided to focus their attention on more plausible targets: players with big wages and big medical bills who are a decade past their best. Hence the rekindling of the Owen-Ronaldo partnership that heralded the demise of the Galacticos 4 years ago.


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