League approves Owen's Stoke move

The Premier League has officially approved Michael Owen's free transfer to Stoke City and he has signed a one-year deal.

Stoke announced the signing of the 32-year-old former England star on Tuesday afternoon but the Premier League held back confirmation until establishing that all the relevant paperwork had been submitted.

The delay meant the Potters were the only one of the league's 20 clubs not to publish their official 25-man squad for the coming season at the appointed time, but the Premier League has now ratified the signing of Owen.

A Premier League statement said: "The Premier League Board has confirmed to Stoke City the registration of Michael Owen. Consequently he can be included in their 25-man playing squad."

The striker, who left Manchester United at the end of last season, tweeted: "It's official! Deal done. I'm a Stoke player. Can't wait to get going."

Owen joined United on a free transfer from Newcastle United in the summer of 2009 but was restricted to only six league starts during his time at Old Trafford as he failed to secure a place in Sir Alex Ferguson's starting XI.

However, the striker - who has won 89 England caps, scoring 40 goals for his country - is still the joint sixth most prolific player in the history of the revamped top flight with 149 goals to his name.

Owen emerged from the Liverpool academy in 1996 and scored 118 times in 216 league appearances for the Reds as he established himself as one of the most feared strikers in European football.

After winning an FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup treble in 2001, and being named European Football of the Year for the same year, Owen joined Real Madrid for a fee of £8 million in 2004 and spent one season at the Bernabeu before returning to English football with Newcastle.

Injuries severely restricted his impact at St James' Park but Owen still scored 26 goals in 71 Premier League appearances for the Magpies, earning his move to Old Trafford.

The striker said on Tuesday: “I’m delighted to have signed for Stoke City. We have been in talks for a while and it was a club I was always keen to join. I’m particularly excited at the prospect of working under Tony Pulis; he has assembled a great squad that I look forward to joining.

“I’m now looking forward to contributing as much as possible to the club and can’t wait to play in front of a great set of supporters.”