Old Trafford bench warmer set for Pride Park?
Michael Owen ‘set for Derby move’ despite interest from Premier League
Michael Owen is a shock target for Championship strugglers Derby County, who are looking to land the Manchester United outcast on a free transfer.
The veteran striker is now fourth choice at Old Trafford, and with Danny Welbeck due back from loan at the end of the season, Owen is unlikely to be offered a new deal.
Rams boss Nigel Clough is desperate to bolster the quality of his squad in a bid to avoid another season fighting relegation, and sources claim he’s targeted the former England international as a marquee summer signing.
Clough has been promised cash to spend by the board, and with high-earner Robbie Savage set to retire at the end of the season, Derby are reportedly preparing a £1.5million package to lure Owen to Pride Park.
‘The last two seasons have been very frustrating and I think everybody recognizes we need a fresh injection of players,’ said Clough.
‘There will be money available. We want six or eight players, it will be a mix of experience, free transfers and at least one ‘biggish’ signing.’
Whilst clearly Derby County are a big club with a rich history a move to sign Michael Owen, even at this point in his roller-coaster career, would be something of a shock. The striker has of course suffered with injury problems for the past few years but when fully fit the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle United man is still surely good enough to ply his trade in the Premier League, no?
Owen has netted 13 goals from 46 appearances at Man United, although it is worth noting that of those 46 games 31 were coming on from the bench, and it seems likely that the 31 year old will not be offered a new deal when his current contract runs out in the summer.
With Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov ahead of Owen in the pecking order it seems that a move away is on the cards but there is reported interest from Aston Villa, with former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier said to be keen, it seems more likely that that one time European Footballer of the Year would opt to stay in the top tier.