Michael Owen has revealed the details of the conversation he had during that breakfast meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson which lead to the striker becoming a Manchester United player.

“The manager’s voice is pretty distinctive,” Owen said, “so I knew it wasn’t a wind-up. He said, ‘We are looking for a striker. I’m going to be up front, we went for Benzema and once that was a no-go we looked around for players who are going to score goals. Obviously the big question is if you are fit, but if you are and we can get plenty of games, then words to the effect that it’s a no-brainer. Anyway, there’s no point in talking on the phone, we’ll chat about it tomorrow if you are free and fancy coming round.’ I had a few butterflies before I went there. I listened more than I talked, which I thought was pretty wise. He said, ‘I know what has happened over the past few years, I know you haven’t lost anything, you are only 29, for crying out loud.’ I wasn’t sure if we were just going to chat, but then I realised, ‘Oh my God, he definitely wants to sign me!’”

Owen then recalled the conversation he had with the manager regarding wearing our number seven shirt, previously worn by George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“You know the attachment it has to the fans?” Ferguson asked Owen. The striker was undaunted. “I told him I was aware of that, but I wouldn’t feel any extra pressure, that it was a great honour, but it wouldn’t affect my performance in any way.”