Fergie keeps Owen at United

Owen’s present two-season deal was about to expire and, having been
overshadowed by Javier Hernandez last season and knowing new
signings were expected – in addition to the return of Danny Welbeck
from Sunderland, it was anticipated the former England striker
would be released. However, Ferguson evidently still views the
31-year-old as an important member of his squad. “Michael has
proved to be a top footballer,” said Ferguson. “It is unfortunate
that he did not get more opportunities but the form of Chicharito
(Hernandez) put everyone in the shade and his partnership with
Rooney proved invaluable. “I am delighted Michael is staying for a
further year and we will look to give him more opportunities in the
new season.” The last of Owen’s two league goals closed a record
19th title-winning campaign for the Red Devils, and earned him a
championship medal for the first time. It was also enough to earn
him a place on the bench ahead of Dimitar Berbatov for Saturday’s
Champions League final, although he did not play a part in United’s
3-1 defeat. “I am delighted to have agreed a one-year extension to
my contract,” said Owen. “To play alongside so many great players,
under an exceptional manager, and in front of so many passionate
supporters is a real inspiration. “I can’t wait for next season to
start.” The news casts an even greater shadow over Berbatov’s
United career, though. The Bulgarian was tight-lipped when he
returned home on Tuesday but it is difficult to see what role he
could play unless Ferguson opts to unload Welbeck, who gained his
first England cap against Ghana in March.