Michael Owen agrees new deal

01 June 2011 01:05
ShareSir 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.

Flying high: Michael Owen has agreed a new one-year deal at Old Trafford

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 theshade 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.'

At the double: Owen scored just two goals in the Premier League last season - against Blackpool and Bolton (below)

Owen, who scored just two Barclays Premier League goals last season, added: 'I'm delighted to have agreed a one-year extension to my contract. 

'To play alongside so many great players, under an exceptional manager, and in front of so many incredibly passionate supporters, is a real inspiration. I can't wait for next season to start.'

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.

Time's up: Berbatov is expected to leave Old Trafford in the summer

It was also enough to earn him a place on the bench ahead of Dimitar Berbatov for Saturday's Champions League final.

Berbatov was tight-lipped when he returned home on Tuesday 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.

 You won't rain on our parade: United celebrate 19th title after Barca defeatLet me stay! Owen tells United that he wants to remain at Old TraffordFerguson admits his agony at leaving out top scorer BerbatovI've given up on playing for England! Owen wants to focus on Man United

 Explore more:People: Michael Owen, Alex Ferguson, Danny Welbeck, Dimitar Berbatov Places: United Kingdom, Ghana

Source: Daily_Mail

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