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UAE move a no-go for free agent Owen

The former Manchester United striker, released by Sir Alex Ferguson after three seasons at Old Trafford, was a rumoured transfer target for the UAE Pro-League side, whose officials have been in talks with Owen's agents.

However, Al Shabab club vice-president Khalid Bu Humaid has labelled the former England international as "on the downhill" and has shied away from any talk regarding Owen, who made only one Premier League appearance for the Red Devils last season.

"There have been some talks and his agent is coming to Shabab Club but there is nothing to confirm with regard to him signing or not," Bu Humaid told Gulf News on Tuesday.

"This is a general talk with no obligations. When someone calls us we listen to what they have to say and see what they have to offer.

"But this part of the world is not the market for Michael Owen anymore.

"Michael Owen is on the downhill right now. He's not one of our options. He's 32 and he only played a handful of matches last season.

"We'll listen to what his agent has to say and report that back to the coach [Marcos Paqueta], who is currently in Brazil."

By Matt Maltby