Michael Owen's representatives and those of Newcastle United will meet in a fortnight to discuss the striker's future as he enters the final season of his contract, writes Michael Walker.
Should Owen be asked to take a pay cut then it is feasible he will reject the offer, which would leave manager Kevin Keegan looking increasingly isolated: there is discernible concern in the squad as to the club's direction this summer.
With cutting wage levels a priority of the Mike Ashley regime, the exits of Emre Belozoglu, Stephen Carr, Peter Ramage have taken an annual £5m off the bill, but Owen's £115,000 per week salary is also being examined.
Bednar signs three-year deal
Premiership newcomers West Bromwich Albion have finalised the £2.3m signing of striker Roman Bednar from Hearts. The 25-year-old, who joined the Baggies last August and was an important part of Tony Mowbray's Championship-winning side, has signed a three-year contract.
The Barcelona forward Giovani Dos Santos looks set to sign for Tottenham later this week after the player's father revealed a move is close. Reports suggest the Mexican attacker will cost around €9m (£7.1m).
*YESTERDAY'S COMPLETED MOVES
Guillaume Beuzelin (Hibernian) to Coventry ......... Free
Kris Commons (Nottingham Forest) to Derby C......... Free