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Michael Owen joins Stoke City after anxious wait


Michael Owen.

Michael Owen.

Michael Owen.

MICHAEL Owen's transfer to Stoke has been approved by the Premier League this afternoon.

Owen has been included in Tony Pulis's 25-man squad for the season after his registration was confirmed by the League's board.

Stoke were facing an anxious wait before officially confirming the signing of the former England international on a 12-month deal, after only just beating yesterday's 5pm deadline.

The club are believed to have submitted only 24 players to the League, leaving a space open for Owen.

But Owen's move to the Britannia Stadium, on a free transfer, has now been agreed and he is poised to make his debut against Manchester City a week on Saturday.

Twitter: michael owen - It's official! Deal done. I'm a Stoke player. Can't wait to get going.

The 32 year-old has signed a one-year deal with the option of another year if he passes a set number of appearances.

Owen's signing represents the end of a long pursuit by Pulis since Owen’s release from Manchester United at the end of last season.

Owen first met Stoke in June to discuss a move and has been considering his options, with offers understood to have been received from clubs in the Far East and in the Championship, but he opted to sign after a whirlwind day of talks.

Stoke were determined to protect themselves with a structured deal because of Owen’s poor injury record – he made only four appearances in his final campaign at Old Trafford and has not played competitively since United’s Champions League clash with Otelul Galati in November.

But Owen, whose last Premier League appearance for United was, curiously, against Stoke almost a year ago, has always maintained that he failed to play because of Alex Ferguson’s team selection rather than his injuries, and will be on a mission to prove his critics wrong at the fifth club of his career.