Michael Owen has questioned Alan Shearer’s perceived loyalty to Newcastle after claiming his old teammate was “inches away from signing for Liverpool”.
The pair have been involved in a row on social media after exclusive extracts of Owen’s new autobiography, Reboot, were published by Mirror Football.
Among the frank revelations, Owen revealed that he and Shearer had previously been “very good friends” but their relationship turned into a nasty feud which still rumbles on today.
“I distinctly remember you being inches away from signing for Liverpool after Sir Bobby Robson put you on the bench. You tried everything to get out.”
Robson was sacked by Newcastle after the match in question, despite leading the club to a fifth place finish.
It was later in his Newcastle career that Owen came to loggerheads with his former England captain however, when Shearer took over as interim manager.
Newcastle were staring relegation in the face when Shearer was appointed for the final eight days of the season.
Owen claimed he was unfit for the final match of the campaign, but claimed he received a negative response from his manager.
He suggested that Shearer insinuated Owen had half an eye on his next contract, and eventually blamed him for Newcastle’s relegation.
In his book, Owen said: “I was a week away from fitness for the final game of the season that saw Newcastle needing a point at Aston Villa to avoid relegation.
“I told him that I wasn’t fully fit but was prepared to play. As I left his office that day, he made an insinuation that led me to believe he thought I had half an eye on my next contract. I’m not stupid – we both knew I was out of contract in a few weeks.
“It wasn’t until three months later, I discovered that Alan Shearer was apparently seething with me. Not only that, it transpired that he was telling anyone who’d listen what he thought of me.”
Shearer responded to the claims on Twitter in brutal fashion, posting a video of Owen saying: “So all I did for six, seven years… I hated it, I couldn’t wait to retire.”
Alongside the video Shearer added the caption: “Yes Michael, we thought that also, whilst on £120k a week…”
Owen also admitted in his book that he had reservations about joining Newcastle ahead of his move from Real Madrid in 2005.
In the honest revelations, Owen added that his relationship with the Newcastle fans was irreparable after they cheered him being taken off on a stretcher with concussion.
Owen said: “I can’t deny their actions that day changed things for me. No longer was I even going to attempt to ingratiate myself with the fans. Instead, I flipped it in a slightly more resentful way thinking, I don’t need to justify myself to f ****** Newcastle fans.”