Date: 26th December 2005 at 12:29pm
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Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd has questioned how serious Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez was in his attempts to re-sign Michael Owen in the summer. Owen left Real Madrid after Newcastle outbid Liverpool to clinch a £17m deal but Benitez has hinted the striker may yet make a permanent return to Anfield.

Shepherd: ‘Does Benitez really think that the public do not know the facts and are stupid? It was Newcastle United who did everything they could to sign Owen. Not Liverpool.’

But the very fact Liverpool showed an interest hampered Newcastle’s efforts, and obviously upped the price by millions. A fact Freddy is well aware of. But he added:

‘We are happy with what we have bought and Michael is more than happy to be here.’