Stoke City: Goal ace Michael Owen on Tony Pulis's radar
STOKE City manager Tony Pulis admits he is keeping tabs on Michael Owen's availability this summer.
But he stopped short of revealing an imminent move for the former England striker.
Owen is a free agent after being released by Manchester United following a three-year stay at Old Trafford.
The 32-year-old, who bagged 17 goals in 18 starts and a further 34 substitute appearances during his time with United, insists he will only consider playing for another Premier League club in this country.
Pulis has inquired about Owen in the past and remains a distant admirer of the former Liverpool and Real Madrid star.
"Yes, we tried to find out what he was doing a couple of years ago," said Pulis, "but nothing came of it – and it was a couple of years ago.
"Everyone knows Michael's pedigree and the fact he has performed with such distinction at the highest level, for club and country.
"We are monitoring him, but along with about 400 other players to be honest, so it's a case of waiting to see what happens."
In many respects the Potteries would be a convenient move for Owen because of the location of his home in North Wales and his racing stables in Cheshire.
But his moderate playing record at United, plus Owen's likely pricey wage demands, would appear to remain a serious impediment to any deal with Stoke.
Meanwhile, Pulis believes Norwich's appointment of Chris Hughton as manager will minimise the upset caused by Paul Lambert's departure to Aston Villa.
And he understands the logic of Swansea seeking to replace Brendan Rodgers with Wigan number two Graeme Jones.
"Chris has done it at Newcastle, while he also spent many, many years at Tottenham, so he knows the game and knows the score.
"Graeme worked at Swansea under Roberto Martinez, so that is a club he already knows from back to front.
"His appointment would make sense if Swansea are looking for continuity and to carry on the good work down there."
MEANWHILE, Stoke have poached teenage defender Ben Glasgow from Arsenal as they set about building up their under-21s squad for next season.
Stoke nipped in for the 18-year-old right-back after Arsenal declined to offer him a full professional contract.
He has instead agreed a development contract at Stoke to play for their new under-21s team which will come into being next season if, as expected, the club wins Category A status for its Academy.
Stoke's Academy director David Wright said: "He is a player I have watched personally and, coming from Arsenal, he clearly has a fine background and pedigree.
"He is a London boy, but has played at youth level for Ireland."