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Owen completes shock Man United transfer

  • Story Highlights
  • Michael Owen completes a shock free transfer switch to Manchester United
  • The former England striker signs a two-year contract with English champions
  • Owen leaves Newcastle United after injury-plagued spell with relegated club
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(CNN) -- Former England striker Michael Owen has completed his shock free transfer move to Manchester United on a two-year contract.

Owen has signed a two-year contract with Manchester United after injuries plagued his time with Newcastle.

Owen has signed a two-year contract with Manchester United after injuries plagued his time with Newcastle.

The former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle forward completed a series of stringent medical tests on Friday evening before signing for the Premier League champions.

Owen, 29, had spent the day at United's Carrington training complex as the terms of his free transfer were thrashed out, after his contract with relegated Newcastle United expired at the end of last month.

Owen had undergone a medical examination on Thursday to assess the troublesome knee which had sidelined him for much of his stay at St James' Park.

Despite his previous injury problems the deal represents little risk to United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who has been a long-time admirer of the 29-year-old.

"Michael is a world class forward with a proven goalscoring record at the highest level and that has never been in question," Ferguson told the club's official Web site.

"Coming to Manchester United with the expectations that we have is something that Michael will relish."

It is believed Ferguson has struck a pay-as-you-play deal which will involve a basic weekly wage enhanced by bonuses.

The player has taken a significant pay cut from the £110,000 ($180,000) a week wages he was reported to be on at Newcastle, for whom he scored 10 goals as they were relegated to the Coca-Cola Championship last season.

But it is the lure of playing Champions League football again which excites Owen -- as he tries to force his way back into the reckoning with England coach Fabio Capello.

Owen admitted United's approach came as much as a shock to him as it did the rest of football. "I had just begun to talk to other clubs when out of the blue Sir Alex phoned me on Wednesday afternoon.

"He invited me to have breakfast with him next morning during which he told me that he wanted to sign me. I agreed without a moment's thought.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I intend to seize it with both hands. I am now looking forward to being a Manchester United player and I am fortunate that I already know so many of the players here.

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"I missed pre-season last year and am pleased that I will be starting at Carrington from day one. I want to thank Sir Alex for the faith he has shown in me and I give him my assurance that I will repay him with my goals and performances."

Owen's capture is United's second signing of the summer following that of Wigan winger Antonio Valencia -- and goes some way to replenishing their attacking options after the departures of Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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