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May 31, 2011

Owen keen to extend United stay

Michael Owen has made a plea to the Manchester United board for an extended stay at Old Trafford, but he may find himself surplus to requirements as chief executive David Gill plans a "busier summer than usual".

• Owen saddened by England snub
• Berbatov likely to leave United

Owen is out of contract in the summer, having started just 15 of his 48 United appearances. However, he did find himself on the bench for the Champions League final, surprisingly preferred to the Premier League's joint top goalscorer Dimitar Berbatov.

The absence of Berbatov in the final has sparked widespread speculation that the Bulgarian will leave during the close season, with Newcastle favourites as Alan Pardew prepares a reported £7.5 million bid.

At 31 years of age Owen's career is in its twilight phase, and he has previously admitted that Mexican starlet Javier Hernandez is a better version of himself. That will not stop the England international, however, attempting to secure a new deal at the club.

"I have loved every minute," said Owen, who joined in Monday's Premier League trophy parade. "We have great players, great staff, a great manager and great fans. Hopefully it can continue."

The gulf between Barcelona and United at Wembley was such that United are now expected to make significant reinforcements in an attempt to reach the standard set by the Catalans.

David De Gea is tipped to join the club for around £16 million, while the likes of Luka Modric, Wesley Sneijder and Ashley Young are all linked to Old Trafford.

Chief executive Gill will be charged with the task of delivering the players earmarked by Ferguson, and he commented: "It will be a busier than usual summer this year. I will be going away at some point in June and be back for the start of our tour but I will be on with player stuff for the next few weeks I am sure."

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