Owen extends Manchester United contract by a year

Michael Owen extended his contract with Manchester United for

another season on Wednesday.

The former England striker, who has been used mostly as a

substitute in his two years with United, was free to leave Old

Trafford after his contract expired following this season but

repeatedly said he wanted to stay.

”I’m delighted to have agreed a one-year extension to my

contract,” Owen said. ”To play alongside so many great players,

under an exceptional manager, and in front of so many incredibly

passionate supporters, is a real inspiration.

”I can’t wait for next season to start.”

Owen was on the bench this season as Javier Hernandez and Wayne

Rooney became United’s preferred forward partnership, but with

leading scorer Dimitar Berbatov consistently linked with a move

elsewhere, he could have a bigger role in future.

”Michael has proved to be a top footballer,” United manager

Alex Ferguson said. ”It’s unfortunate Michael didn’t get more

opportunities but the form of Chicharito 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 31-year-old Owen joined on a free transfer in July 2009

after a career with Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle. He has

scored 14 goals in 48 appearances for United, finally clinching his

first Premier League winners’ medal this season.