Michael Owen undergoing medical at Manchester United
03 July 2009 11:12
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Owen has already undergone an assessment of his troublesome knee. And if United's medical staff give him the all-clear, the former England international could join Sir Alex Ferguson's men as soon as next week on a free transfer.
United's interest in Owen has taken many by surprise. His Newcastle contract lapsed on July 1, but although the former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker apparently remained eager to stay in the Premier League, it appeared only the likes of Stoke and Hull were ready to make a concrete offer.
However, they have now been joined by reigning champions United, who are desperate to fill the void left by the exits of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez.
Owen suffered from a series of injury problems during his stint at St James' Park and Ferguson is thought to be lining up a pay-as-you-play deal for the forward.
The 29-year-old was believed to be on around £110,000 at Newcastle, for whom he scored 10 goals as they were relegated to the Championship last season, but would be happy to take a reduced basic salary for a top-four club.
Owen has failed to persuade England coach Fabio Capello that he has both the form and fitness to add to his 89 international caps but would relish the chance to forge a partnership with the Italian's first-choice striker, Wayne Rooney, at Old Trafford.
Former Newcastle winger Chris Waddle believes Owen will look back on his decision to join the Tyneside club with regret.
He said: "When he looks back on his career, the move from Real Madrid to Newcastle will be one he wishes he hadn't done.
"It was a late deal, right on the deadline and from day one injuries just seemed to follow one after the other, but the injury at the last World Cup really stands out.
"Once you go to a club like Real Madrid, unless you go to somewhere like Liverpool or Manchester UInited it will be a downward step. Newcastle was a convenience move and Newcastle never saw the best of him.
"You've got to put it down to being a bad experience for the club and for the fans. He had injury problems in Madrid but of all the clubs he has played for, Newcastle is the one that has got the least from him and probably ended up on average paying the most money for him.
"He commuted a lot in a helicopter from Cheshire and obviously didn't want to move up there. He wasn't on the field enough to really judge him in a Newcastle shirt."