Belfast Telegraph

Owen set for United exit

Former England striker Michael Owen is set to leave Manchester United after revealing he will not be offered a new contract.

The 32-year-old, whose deal expires this summer, has announced via Twitter that the club will not be renewing his terms.

Owen wrote: "The Manager informed me after our testimonial match on Tuesday that the club would not be offering me a new contract."

It will bring an end to a three-year spell at Old Trafford marred by injuries. The former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle forward joined United on a free transfer in summer 2009 but was unable to reignite his once glittering career.

He made just four appearances in the season just ended and has not played competitively since November due to a thigh injury.

Owen wrote: "I have loved every minute of the 3 years I have spent at such a fantastic club. I would like to thank the players, staff and fans for their support and wish them well for the future. I now plan to have a short holiday during which I will contemplate my next move."

The highlight of his time at United was his injury-time winner in a pulsating 4-3 derby win over Manchester City in September 2009, a goal which warmed sceptical fans to him given his Liverpool connections.

He also struck in the 2010 Carling Cup final win over Aston Villa but was forced off injured later in that game and any hopes of an international recall in time for the World Cup were ended. Owen scored 40 goals in 89 appearances for England but has not played internationally for four years.

His announcement will lead to speculation that he may now retire but, even while sidelined, he has never indicated that he is considering that option.

United confirmed the news on their website in a statement which added: "Manchester United thanks Michael for his contribution and wishes him well for the future."

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