'Not sure you are as loyal as you make out' - Michael Owen hits back in Twitter spat with Alan Shearer
A private feud between former England strike partners Michael Owen and Alan Shearer has become very public after the duo were embroiled in a war of words on Twitter.
Owen has been creating headlines ahead of the imminent release of his latest autobiography, as he opened up on his time playing alongside Shearer at Newcastle, which was heavily disrupted by injuries.
Shearer has taken exception to Owen's claims that he didn't want to sign for Newcastle when he made the move from Real Madrid in 2005, as he admitted he had his heart set on a return to Liverpool until it was blocked by manager Rafael Benitez.
Owen's suggestion that he 'did not need to justify himself to Newcastle fans' in his upcoming book Reboot inspired Shearer to tweet video footage of the former striker admitting he was eager to retire in the final years of his career.
That message produced a spiky response from Owen, who suggested Shearer's status as a Newcastle legend may have been very different if he had succeeded in his efforts to leave the club and join Liverpool.
"Not sure you are as loyal to Newcastle as you make out mate," tweeted Owen. "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."
Shearer's BBC Match of the Day colleague also became embroiled in the Twitter spat, with Owen later suggesting he is disappointed by the turn of events.
"It's really sad and, as I say in my book, I really don’t understand how it got to this as we used to be big mates," he stated. "I only found out there was a problem when a mutual friend told me."