Owen opts for Dubai
Stoke look set to miss out on the signing of Michael Owen as the striker looks set to opt for a surprise move to Dubai.
The Potters appeared to be in the box seat to land the striker following his release from Manchester United but now a move to UAE club Al Shabaab is in the pipeline. Stoke were only willing to offer Owen a pay-as-you-play deal but it was thought that would be enough as he could stay in the Premier League and be close to home. The move to Dubai would come as a surprise as not only would Owen have to uproot his family but he would also be away from his beloved horses and stables. However Al Shabaab seem confident a deal can be struck and say talks are ongoing. A club spokesman revealed: "Michael Owen has been identified as a candidate to play for Shabab next season and we are in negotiations with his management team. The player's agent is in Dubai to close the deal. "We are in talks with the player and his agent, but no agreement has yet been reached between the parties, things should become clear soon."