Sir Alex Ferguson has made Michael Owen his first summer signing – handing the former England striker a new 12-month deal at Old Trafford.
Owen’s current contract was due to expire next month – but he made it clear that he wanted to stay at United after helping the club to a record 19th title this season.
And Ferguson believes he still has a part to play, despite using the 31-year-old sparingly since his free transfer from Newcastle in 2009.
The emergence of Javier Hernandez – scoring 20 goals in his first year in English football – limited Owen to only a handful of starts this season.
But Ferguson insists he will get more opportunities as United plot the defence of their Premier League crown next term.
“Michael has proved to be a top footballer," said the United manager. "It’s unfortunate that he didn’t get more opportunities, but the form of Chicharito put everyone in the shade and his partnership with Wayne Rooney proved invaluable.
“I am delighted Michael is staying for a further year and we will look to give him more opportunities in the new season.
Former Liverpool and Real Madrid star, Owen, added: “I’m delighted to have agreed a one-year extension to my contract.
“To play alongside so many great players, under an exceptional manager, and in front of so many incredibly passionate supporters is a real inspiration. I can’t wait for next season to start.”