x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Stoke must wait for Michael Owen deal to get Premier League approval

The English Premier League side hope to confirm the former Manchester United forward's signing on a one-year deal, but questions remain over whether his paperwork was submitted in time to officials.

Michael Owen will complete a one-year deal to join Stoke City if the Premier League give approval to his move.
Michael Owen will complete a one-year deal to join Stoke City if the Premier League give approval to his move.

Stoke City are expecting to learn today if their last-gasp bid to sign former Manchester United forward Michael Owen has been ratified by English Premier League chiefs.

The Potteries club announced the 32-year-old, who was in talks during the summer over a move to the Pro League, had agreed to join the club subject to Premier League approval.

But it was unclear tonight whether Stoke had provided the relevant documents for the signature of Owen, a free agent following his release by Manchester United at the end of last season, before or after the 4pm deadline for clubs to submit their 25-man squad lists.

The uncertainty meant the Premier League were only able to release details of those lists for 19 of their 20 clubs, with the Potters' still pending.

It is understood Stoke would otherwise be prevented from filling Owen's spot with another player if his move was rejected.

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.

If approved, Owen could make his debut for Stoke against champions Manchester City a week on Saturday.

The Premier League said in a statement: "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."

Despite being linked with Sunderland and former club Liverpool, Owen insisted last night 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!"

Owen would become Stoke's seventh signing of the summer, following the arrivals of Jamie Ness, Geoff Cameron, Michael Kightly, Maurice Edu, Charlie Adam and Steven N'Zonzi.

Owen's time at United was dogged by injury problems but he scored 17 goals in 52 appearances during his three-year spell, including a famous winner in a 4-3 derby victory over Manchester City in 2009.

In total, Owen has scored 221 goals in 473 games in all competitions at club level, in addition to 40 goals in 89 appearances for England.

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