23. desember, 2005
Ef einhver hefur misst af þeim 3.590 blaðagreinum, sem hafa birst um Michael Owen og Liverpool á undanförnum dögum, þá tilkynnist það hér með að Newcastle (með Michael Owen innanborðs) og Liverpool mætast á annan í jólum.
Owen tjáir sig um atburðarásina í ágúst:
‘Looking back on those mad few weeks, the one thing that no one can say about me is that I was not up front and honest. I had narrowed it down to three options and, all the way through, I made it plain exactly where they stood. As I said at the time, Liverpool were my first choice, Newcastle my second. The third was staying at Real.
‘They understood why Liverpool was my first choice. I had spent more than a decade there and I did think I would be going back when I met Rick Parry and Benítez just before the transfer deadline.
‘We had discussed the wages and all the nitty-gritty of a contract, so I have no doubts that their interest was genuine, whatever you may have heard. But it was difficult for them because they had sold me for £8.5m and were being asked to pay considerably more to take me back. They had to make their own financial decisions.’
Rafa er auðvitað líka spurður útí þetta, en blaðamannafundir fyrir leikinn voru haldnir í dag. Hann staðfestir einfaldlega það, sem menn hafa haldið allan tímann:
“I tried to sign him and he knows I tried to sign him,” said Benitez. “Like he’s said in the past few days. It even went to the last day of the deadline.
“In the end, it was just impossible for us as another club bid a large amount of money for him.”
Rafa var líka spurður um nýja leikmenn einsog Galletti og Vidic, en einsog ávallt þá svaraði hann engu.