Peter Crouch has urged released Manchester United striker Michael Owen to join him at Stoke City.

Everton have pulled out of a bid for the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle star, leaving Stoke as the main contenders for Owen's signature.

Crouch told The Sun: "Coming to Stoke was never a step down.

"I was really happy the manager could give me games when I was in and out of the Tottenham side.

"I'd rather play a big part in something smaller than be a small part of something bigger.

"I know Michael has a big decision to make after leaving a club the size of Manchester United - but I had a similar decision to make last summer.

"At Tottenham we were challenging for a Champions' League place every season. We're not doing that at Stoke but we are building something worthwhile here.

"If you want to play regular football and enjoy playing again, this is a great place to be. Michael will obviously make his own decision but a player of that calibre would be fantastic to have around the place.

"And the fans will absolutely love him. They were amazing with me when I first signed and they're still great with me now."