Michael Owen signs new deal at Manchester United
Wednesday 01 June 2011
Sir Alex Ferguson has sprung a major surprise by handing Michael Owen a one-year contract extension.
Owen's present two-season deal was about to expire and, having been overshadowed by Javier Hernandez last season and knowing new signings were expected - in addition to the return of Danny Welbeck from Sunderland, it was anticipated the former England striker would be released.
However, Ferguson evidently still views the 31-year-old as an important member of his squad.
"Michael has proved to be a top footballer," said Ferguson.
"It is unfortunate that he did not get more opportunities but the form of Chicharito (Hernandez) put everyone in the shade and his partnership with Rooney proved invaluable.
"I am delighted Michael is staying for a further year and we will look to give him more opportunities in the new season."
The last of Owen's two league goals closed a record 19th title-winning campaign for the Red Devils, and earned him a championship medal for the first time.
It was also enough to earn him a place on the bench ahead of Dimitar Berbatov for Saturday's Champions League final, although he did not play a part in United's 3-1 defeat.
"I am delighted to have agreed a one-year extension to my contract," said Owen.
"To play alongside so many great players, under an exceptional manager, and in front of so many passionate supporters is a real inspiration.
"I can't wait for next season to start."
The news casts an even greater shadow over Berbatov's United career, though.
The Bulgarian was tight-lipped when he returned home yesterday but it is difficult to see what role he could play unless Ferguson opts to unload Welbeck, who gained his first England cap against Ghana in March.
Latest in Sport
- 1 If you weren't afraid of flying before last week... you probably are now
- 2 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 4 Lauren Goodger calls for tougher laws on revenge porn after sex tape leaks online
- 5 Iraq crisis: End 'very near' for Christianity after Isis takeover, says Bishop
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia