Michael Owen not retiring despite Manchester United release

Michael Owen says he does not plan to retire, despite Manchester United confirming the striker would not be offered a new contract at Old Trafford.

The 32-year-old said he would "contemplate his next move" during a short holiday, but was not ready to give up his top-flight playing career.

"The Championship is not an option," he said. "I'd like to think I haven't lost the ability to score goals at the highest level.

"I may look further afield."

And, speaking to Sky Sports News, the former England striker added: "I still feel good and, even though I've had a few injuries, I don't wake up with sore joints."

The ex-Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle striker was told of United's decision not to renew his contract following his appearance in a testimonial for former Reds goalkeeper Harry Gregg in Belfast on Tuesday.

"I have loved every minute I have spent at such a fantastic club," said Owen on Twitter.external-link

His time at Old Trafford was blighted by injuries and he managed just four league and cup appearances this season with his final one coming in United's 2-0 win over Otelul Galati during the Champions League group stages in November, when he sustained a thigh injury.

Owen's most memorable goal for Manchester United came at Old Trafford back in September 2009.

The striker came off the bench to score a dramatic injury-time winner against Manchester City and win the derby 4-3, with the match since being voted the best in Premier League history.external-link

He scored another vital goal in the League Cup final against Aston Villa back in 2010, however his celebrations were again cut short by injury and he was replaced shortly after.

Owen's last appearance for England was against France in 2008, but his goal record at international level is outstanding.

The striker scored 40 goals in 89 appearances for his country and BBC Sport's Gary Lineker, who scored 48 goals for England, tweeted:external-link "A world-class goalscorer who, but for injury, would have broken many records."

Owen started his career as a teenager at Liverpool, scoring 158 goals in 297 appearances, before making an £8m move to Spain to play for Real Madrid in 2004.

Having spent just one season in La Liga, the striker moved back to the Premier League where he joined Newcastle United for a reported fee of £16m, scoring 30 goals in 79 appearances.

Always an admirer of the prolific striker, Sir Alex Ferguson took a risk in signing him for Manchester United on a free transfer in 2009.

The Scot said: "It is a pleasure to have had Michael at Manchester United.

"Michael is a consummate professional and was an influential figure in our dressing room. Unfortunately he had no luck with his injury this season.

"Michael's record of goals per game is exceptional and we wish him all the best for the future."