Houllier eyes owen swoop
Gerard Houllier has raised the possibility of making a January move for Manchester United striker Michael Owen, after admitting his interest on French television.
Houllier is due to be formally installed as Martin O'Neill's replacement at Aston Villa after tomorrow's fixture with Bolton. And the Frenchman's comments will fuel speculation his first task, when the January transfer window opens, will be to tempt Owen to Villa Park.
"He has always been in my thoughts," said Houllier, who managed Owen at Liverpool. "I like him, as a player and a man. I went to Liverpool on September
4 for Jamie Carragher's testimonial, and I saw Michael play. He still has the legs for it."
Despite appearing as a substitute against Rangers in the Champions League on Tuesday night, Owen's post-match comments suggested he may be open to the prospect of leaving United in search of first-team football.
"The most difficult thing is not playing for a couple of weeks and then suddenly getting called up and being mentally and physically right to perform well," he said.
Meanwhile, United have confirmed Antonio Valencia will be out for "a good portion" of the season following an operation on the ankle he fractured so horrifically against Rangers.
Red Devils medical staff assessed the Ecuador winger yesterday and confirmed Valencia has also suffered ligament damage (© Daily Telegraph, London)