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Michael Owen Reveals Failed Attempts to Rejoin Liverpool and Rafa Benitez

Michael Owen's career would have taken a different path if the choice were left to him, with the former England striker revealing his numerous attempts to reunite with Liverpool and former Reds manager Rafa Benitez. The Anfield product left Liverpool for Real Madrid in 2004 and spent just one season in Spain before returning to the Premier League with Newcastle United in a £16.8 million deal. He told FourFourTwo's Chris Flanagan why it wasn't Merseyside he returned to: “When I was leaving Real Madrid, I met Rafa in Liverpool in one of the player's houses to keep it all under wraps. We had a great meeting, we sorted everything out from my point of view, then my agent sorted everything out with Rick Parry in the room next door. “Everything was sorted for me to go back there, but unfortunately the clubs couldn’t agree a fee. Newcastle then put in a bid which far outweighed Liverpool’s and basically Real Madrid made an ultimatum saying unless Liverpool matched Newcastle’s bid, you’re not going there. So I had no option really in the end, and I couldn’t join Rafa.” Owen spent four years at St James' Park before signing for Manchester United on a pay-as-you-play deal in 2009, at which point Fernando Torres' presence at Liverpool meant he wasn't needed by Benitez.  The striker reached out once more when he left United in 2012, but this time it was Luis Suarez blocking his route back to Anfield: "Every time I seemed to leave a club, Liverpool were very well off for strikers at the time." Signing for the Red Devils in any event damaged Owen's reputation at former club Liverpool, and recent comments regarding how happy he was to join United have again ruffled some feathers at Anfield, via Ball Street: Owen reiterated his attempts to link back up with Liverpool "at every opportunity," although his love for the club seemingly wasn't enough to convince him against joining their fiercest rivals. Radio City producer David Downie recently touched upon the sentiment that there are some lines certain players wouldn't cross: Fan account Empire of the Kop has also called into question Owen's status as a club ambassador for the Reds: The former Premier League prodigy went on to endure some injury-hit years at both Newcastle and Manchester United—in only three of his last eight professional seasons did Owen manage to make 20 appearances or more. We might have witnessed a far different course of action and career success had the Chester-born star been granted his wish to move back to Anfield—something he assures was always on his mind.   Read more World Football news on BleacherReport.com...

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Published By: Bleacher Report - Friday, 17 November







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