Owen Signs For Stoke On Free Transfer

Former England striker Michael Owen

Former England striker Michael Owen

AFP – Former England striker Michael Owen has joined Stoke City on a free transfer, subject to Premier League Board approval, the club announced Tuesday.

Owen, who made his name at Liverpool before joining Real Madrid, has signed a one-year deal following his release from Stoke’s Premier League rivals Manchester United at the end of last season.

He has enjoyed an impressive career, scoring 221 goals in 473 appearances.

But the 32-year-old’s career has been blighted by a series of injury problems and he has started just one Premier League match in the last two seasons.

And it is that fitness record which has led to reports, still to be confirmed by Stoke, that he has signed on a pay-as-you play deal.

Although he was also linked with Liverpool and Sunderland, Owen insisted Tuesday he was “always keen to join” Tony Pulis’ side.

After signing a one-year contract, he posted on Twitter: “Delighted to have signed for Stoke subject to Premier League approval.

“We have been in talks for a while and it was a club I was always keen to join.

“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!”

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 Premier League said in a statement Tuesday: “The Premier League board is currently considering an application from Stoke City to register a player and, subsequently, their squad list will be confirmed at a later date.”

Owen is set to becomes City’s seventh signing of the summer, following the arrivals of Jamie Ness, Geoff Cameron, Michael Kightly, Maurice Edu, Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi.

For England, Owen scored 40 goals in 89 appearances, including a hat-trick against Germany in a 5-1 victory just over a decade ago.

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