Premier League approve Michael Owen's transfer to Stoke


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The Independent Football

The Premier League have approved the transfer of Michael Owen to Stoke.

Following the announcement last night that the former Real Madrid player had joined the Potters, there was confusion over whether the deal would be allowed to go through.

Clubs are able to sign free agents outside the transfer window but are only able to field them in the Premier League if they have previously registered fewer than 25 players.

The uncertainty meant the Premier League were only able to release the official 25-man squads for 19 of the 20 clubs, with the Potters' list omitted pending the outcome of the investigation.

But the Premier League have been able to confirm that the relevant paperwork was submitted prior to yesterday's 4pm deadline, which means Owen's transfer has gone through.

A Premier League statement read: "The Premier League board has confirmed to Stoke City the registration of Michael Owen. Consequently he can be included in their 25-man playing squad."

The player took to Twitter to express his delight.

"It's official! Deal done. I'm a Stoke player. Can't wait to get going," he wrote.

The 32-year-old was a free agent after Manchester United decided to end Owen's three-year spell at Old Trafford.

There had been speculation of a return to Liverpool where Owen came through the youth system before going on to net over 100 goals for the Anfield club. But with the owners of the Reds not interested in 'quick-fix' transfers, Owen was overlooked.

Instead, the fourth highest goal scorer in England's history makes Stoke the fifth club of his career.

"We have been in talks for a while and it was a club I was always keen to join," he wrote on Twitter yesterday.

"I'm particularly excited at the prospect of working under Tony Pulis. He has assembled a great squad that I look forward to joining.

"I'm now looking forward to contributing as much as possible to the club and can't wait to play in front of a great set of supporters.

"Thanks for your kind messages everyone. Can't wait to get going again!"

Owen's could make his debut against Manchester City, Stoke's next opponents, on September 15.