Michael Owen Confirms He is Entertaining Offers of Returning to English Premier League

LONDON (AP) - Real Madrid striker Michael Owen said Wednesday he has had "brief dialogue with three or four Premiership clubs" about a possible return to English soccer.

Real Madrid signed Brazilian strikers Robinho and Julio Baptista in the past week further reducing Owen's chances of a regular first-team spot in the coming season.

The club has made the England star available for transfer even though he scored 16 goals in 26 starts following his transfer from Liverpool a year ago. Owen didn't say which Premier League teams he had spoken to but he has been linked with Newcastle Arsenal and Manchester United.

"Real Madrid contacted my advisers over the weekend and explained that they wanted me to stay but that they would not stand in my way if the right opportunity arose for me to return to the Premiership Owen said in a statement released to Britain's Press Association.

"There has been brief dialogue with three or four Premiership clubs although no formal negotiations of any kind have taken place."

"I am confident that the Real Madrid president Senor (Florentino) Perez will have my best interests at heart whatever happens he added.

Owen is one of three England internationals at Madrid along with midfielder David Beckham and defender Jonathan Woodgate. He struggled to get picked ahead of Ronaldo or Raul both of whom are still at the club.

Owen was set to travel to Austria on Wednesday for a two-week training session with the Real Madrid squad. He said it was unlikely he would join another club until after that.

"In the meantime I am preparing myself physically and mentally for the coming season and hopefully the World Cup which follows it Owen said.