Michael Owen has sealed his shock move to Manchester United on a two-year contract.
Owen seals United switch
Michael Owen has sealed his shock move to Manchester United. The former Liverpool, Real Madrid and England striker completed a series of stringent medical tests this evening and has signed a two-year deal with the Premier League champions. Owen, 29, had earlier spent the day at United's Carrington training complex as the terms of his free transfer were thrashed out, after he lapsed out of contract with Newcastle at the end of last month. Owen had undergone a medical examination yesterday to assess the troublesome knee which had sidelined him for much of his stay at St James' Park. Despite his previous injury problems the deal represents little risk to Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who has been a long-time admirer of the 29-year-old. "Michael is a world class forward with a proven goalscoring record at the highest level and that has never been in question," said the United boss. "Coming to Manchester United with the expectations that we have is something that Michael will relish." It is believed Ferguson has struck a pay-as-you-play deal which will involve a basic weekly wage enhanced by bonuses. The player has taken a significant pay cut from the £110,000 (Dh661,000) he was reported to be on at Newcastle, for whom he scored 10 goals as they were relegated to the Coca-Cola Championship last season. But it is the lure of playing for the champions, with the promise of Champions League football again, which excites Owen now as he tries to force his way back into the reckoning with England coach Fabio Capello. Owen admitted United's approach came as much as a shock to him as it did the rest of football. "I had just begun to talk to other clubs when out of the blue Sir Alex phoned me on Wednesday afternoon, invited me to have breakfast with him next morning during which he told me that he wanted to sign me," he said. "I agreed without a moment's thought. This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I intend to seize it with both hands. "I am now looking forward to being a Manchester United player and I am fortunate that I already know so many of the players here. "I missed pre-season last year and am pleased that I will be starting at Carrington from day one. "I want to thank Sir Alex for the faith he has shown in me and I give him my assurance that I will repay him with my goals and performances."