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Michael Owen handed the No7 shirt at United

Michael Owen has been given the widely coveted Manchester United No7 shirt previously worn by George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and most recently Cristiano Ronaldo. The former Liverpool striker will look to fill the shoes of those former United greats alongside Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov in a new look forward line.

Sir Alex Ferguson has also revealed that youngsters Daniel Welbeck and Federico Macheda will be given the chance to stake their claim to a place in the United first team next season: "They are both young players – but young players with ability always get a chance here." Fergie also confirmed that United made an unsuccessful bid for Lyon'd Karim Benzema who eventually joined Real Madrid.

Despite earning £80m from the sale of Ronaldo earlier this month, Ferguson made it clear that United were unwilling to be drawn into a bidding war with Real. "There are some amazing numbers being talked about, not all of them realistic," Fergie told reporters. "It is very difficult to get value now. In a way we benefited through the sale of Cristiano, although that figure was non-negotiable."

The United manager continued: "But I feel we have a good squad, which meant there was no need for knee-jerk reactions. We asked about Benzema and we had a value for him. Lyon have done well because they got €42m [£36.3m] but I think we took a sensible view."

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