Liverpool striker Michael Owen is considering a move to Real Madrid, according to British newspaper reports today. Real are willing to pay E15 million in cash for Owen while sending E22 million rated Fernando Morientes or Real Mallorca's Samuel Eto'o to Liverpool in a package deal worth E37 million, the reports said.

England international Owen's contract at Liverpool runs out at the end of this coming season, when he would be able to leave the club on a free transfer. Owen told reporters last week he could agree a new contract with the club before the Premier League season starts on Aug 14.

The 24-year-old striker scored 19 goals last season for Liverpool and is in their squad for the Champions League third qualifying round, first leg tie with Graz AK in Austria later today.

Former Liverpool defender and Irish international Mark Lawrenson believes a move to Real Madrid could prove too tempting for Michael Owen to turn down if it comes to fruition.

"I do, believe it, because the contract talks seemed to be going well two to three weeks ago and now they seem to have stalled and he has only got a year left on his contract." said Lawrenson.

Lawrenson claims the timing of the negotiations is unfortunate but unavoidable, after Euro 2004, as Liverpool prepare for tonight's vital Champions League qualifier with Graz AK.

If Owen were to start he would be cup-tied for all UEFA competitions this season which would see his transfer value slump considerably.

Filed by Mark O'Neill-Cummins