Owen to leave Man Utd
Posted Thursday, May 17 2012 at 15:11
Manchester United have confirmed that striker Michael Owen will not be offered a new contract and will be leaving the club.
The 32-year-old former England forward joined the Old Trafford club in July 2009 but made just 52 appearances.
"The manager informed me after our testimonial match on Tuesday that the club would not be offering me a new contract," said Owen on Twitter.
"I have loved every minute I have spent at such a fantastic club."
Owen, who also had spells with Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle, added: "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."
Owen's last game in a United shirt came in Belfast on Tuesday in a testimonial for former goalkeeper Harry Gregg.
His time at Old Trafford was blighted by injuries and he managed just four league and cup appearances this season with his final one coming in United's 2-0 win over Otelul Galati during the Champions League group stages in November when he sustained a thigh injury.
Owen's most memorable goal for Manchester United came at Old Trafford back in September 2009.
The striker came off the bench to score a dramatic injury-time winner against Manchester City and win the derby 4-3.
He scored another vital goal in the League Cup final against Aston Villa back in 2010. However his celebrations were again cut short by injury and was replaced shortly after.
Owen's last appearance for England was back in 2008, but his goal record at international level is outstanding.
The striker scored 40 goals in 89 appearances, BBC Sport's Gary Lineker tweeted : "A world-class goalscorer who, but for injury, would have broken many records."
Owen started his career as a teenager at Liverpool, before making a big money move to Real Madrid in 2004.
Having spent just one season in La Liga, the striker moved back to the Premier League where he joined Newcastle United, scoring 30 goals in 74 appearances.
Always an admirer of the prolific striker, Sir Alex Ferguson took a risk in signing him for Manchester United on a free transfer in 2009.
The Scot said: "It is a pleasure to have had Michael at Manchester United.
"Michael is a consummate professional and was an influential figure in our dressing room. Unfortunately he had no luck with his injury this season.
"Michael's record of goals per game is exceptional and we wish him all the best for the future."