Pulis still hopeful free agent Owen will join Stoke

Tony Pulis is optimistic that Michael Owen will join Stoke City this summer after his released from Manchester United earlier this year.

The former England striker spent three injury ravaged years at Old Trafford after leaving Newcastle United in 2009 but managed only 52 appearances and 17 goals for the Red Devils.

Owen was linked with boyhood club Everton and West Ham United following Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to let him leave on a free transfer but remains without a club as the Premier League kicked off this weekend.

Potters boss Pulis is keen to bring the 32-year-old to the Britannia Stadium to pair him with Peter Crouch in attack and is hopeful that an agreement can be reached sooner rather than later.

One stumbling block that could scupper a move is the former Liverpool and Newcastle United forward’s wage demands with the player unwilling to give up his Premier League salary.

Pulis said: “Michael hasn’t gone anywhere and it’s still a possibility. There’s still stuff happening and going on. Whether we can do a deal or not is another matter.

“I’ve always said he’s a good player and someone I think people in the club would like to have around. He’s a great professional as well and Crouchy has shown what great professionals can do for the football club.”

With Peter Crouch, Jon Walters, Mamady Sidibe, Kenwyne Jones and Cameron Jerome already at the club it’s likely Pulis will ship two of them out to make room for Owen.

Aston Villa have been linked with a double swoop for Jerome and Jones as manager Paul Lambert gears up for his first season in charge at Villa Park and arriving from Norwich.

Lambert is reportedly looking to rekindle the partnership Jones had with Darren Bent during their time at Sunderland and could make a move in the coming weeks.