Interim Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear admits there could be ''dozens'' of clubs lining up to talk to Magpies captain Michael Owen in January.
Owen could be tempted to look for a move away from St James' Park having slipped out of England contention under Fabio Capello and the 28-year-old is free to open talks with rival clubs in the new year.
Chelsea have been linked with the former Liverpool and Real Madrid forward but Kinnear does not think Blues boss Luiz Felipe Scolari would be alone if he opted to firm up his interest in Owen.
''Of course, it's understandable that other clubs are interested,'' he said.
''He's a 28-year-old who has bags of ability and can score goals so there must be dozens who want him.
''He will be spoilt for choice. I think Michael is probably in the best position, better than the position the club are in. Michael can't lose.''
Kinnear insists United is the best place for Owen but concedes he may not be able to match more tantalising offers.
''I know what I would say to him if I keep the job - 'Stay here'. But I have no idea who may come in.
''Who's to say it won't be Manchester United, Liverpool...anybody.''