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Michael Owen linked with Aston Villa switch

Aston Villa could be set to end Michael Owen's Newcastle nightmare providing that the former Liverpool striker is willing to take a 50 per cent pay cut.

The 29-year-old's contract with the Magpies expired just days after the North East club was relegated to the Championship and it now looks as if Martin O'Neill will give the England international a chance to resurrect his Premier League career at Villa Park next season.

The only sticking point for any potential deal could be Owen's wage demands. The former Real Madrid striker was reported to be on a six-figure weekly wage at St James' Park, but Villa are unwilling to pay that much for a player whose recent career has been punctuated by injury.

If Owen does join the Birmingham club, it would give Martin O'Neill the chance to play him alongside his former England strike partner Emile Heskey. Heskey spoke about the possibility of being reunited with Owen earlier today: "I would welcome the opportunity to play with him again," the former Wigan striker said. "He is a great player and a great asset to have. He has shown that on many occasions."

Villa, however, could face stiff competition for Owen's services with Tottenham, Everton and Serie A side Roma all reported to be interested in signing the former Liverpool man on a free transfer.

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