Stoke join race to sign Owen

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The Independent Football

Stoke boss Tony Pulis admits he would love the chance to take England striker Michael Owen to the Potteries.

The 29-year-old will leave Newcastle at the end of the month when his contract expires, and his details have been circulated to top clubs both at home and in Europe.

Having seen Hull counterpart Phil Brown publicly declare his interest in taking the former Liverpool and Real Madrid star to the KC Stadium, Pulis has revealed he would relish the opportunity to persuade Owen his future lies at the Britannia Stadium.

He told the Stoke Sentinel: "You never say never in football, so of course I would be interested in throwing my hat into the ring if it was ever viable.

"I'm not sure whether Michael would want to come here right now, but that situation could always change for him.

"He would be a great signing for this football club, and he can rest assured our fans would treat him as one of their own.

"I imagine there will be bigger clubs taking an interest in his availability for the moment, and I can't say I have received a copy of his dossier, but that doesn't mean he will end up signing for them necessarily.

"So it could be a deal that comes on to our radar in time and one we would be silly to turn our back on if we could get something sorted with his people."

Owen managed just 79 appearances during his four years on Tyneside as injuries severely hampered his efforts to live up to his £17million price-tag.

However, his 30 goals came at a creditable rate, although crucially, not when the club needed them most as they slipped out of the Barclays Premier League.

But he remains confident he has much to offer as he tries to win back his place in Fabio Capello's England squad, and Pulis agrees.

He said: "He has had his fitness problems and they have been well publicised.

"But if you have got a fit Michael Owen, then you have still got one hell of a player on your hands.

"You would have to hope that he came to you hungry to succeed and desperate to prove wrong all those critics lining up to have a go at him."