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Reds to hold Owen talks

Liverpool are set to hold talks with Michael Owen on Monday as they weigh up a move for the former England striker.

• Rodgers rues Carroll exit

Brendan Rodgers confirmed after his side's 2-0 defeat at home to Arsenal on Sunday that he was considering a deal for Owen after failing to sign a replacement for Andy Carroll on transfer deadline day.

Owen, a free agent after leaving Manchester United, is also talking with Sunderland, West Ham, Everton and Stoke about a deal.

A return to Anfield would be controversial, not least because he has spent the last three seasons with the club's arch rivals. Former Liverpool star Mark Lawrenson has also raised serious questions over the striker's motivation.

Writing for the Daily Mirror, he said: "I've always believed Liverpool would finish fifth or sixth as the majority of their players are good enough to do so, but the decision to allow Andy Carroll to leave the club without making sure a replacement was signed, sealed and delivered is bizarre bordering on farcical.

"Equally so the idea that the club could sign Michael Owen on a free transfer. For me it is a retrograde step and Liverpool should never have left themselves in a position where they even have to be considering it.

"In terms of being fit and available you have to ask how often that will be the case with Owen. I also get the impression with him that it is not just about the fact that he only wants to play football. If that was the case then he would have lowered his salary demands and signed for a Championship club.

"I just don't think he wants to play for the love of the game anymore."

Speculation linking Didier Drogba or Nicolas Anelka with a move to Anfield is unfounded as the strikers are both still contracted to Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.

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