Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that Michael Owen is capable of staying at Manchester United for many years ahead of Sunday's return to Liverpool.
Former Reds striker Owen stunned Merseyside this summer after agreeing to join fierce foes United on a two-year deal, having left Anfield in 2004 for Real Madrid and then Newcastle.
The 29-year-old is set to make his first appearance against Liverpool since joining United when the Red Devils visit their bitter North West foes this weekend.
Ferguson has already backed Owen to cope with what is expected to be a frosty reception from The Kop and he has now announced that he sees the forward's long-term future with United.
The Old Trafford boss said of the 89-time England international: "He is only just starting with us.
"He has only been here a few months and I hope the boy is here for a long time.
"I think he is well capable of doing that. He is showing he is a terrific professional, he lives his life the right way and there are no complications with him."
Meanwhile, Ferguson claims referees are more likely than players to be affected by the intensity of United versus Liverpool clashes, with red cards common in the fixture.
"Manchester United and Liverpool games are always intense," he said. "I know Anfield has seen a lot of players sent off, but I think the atmosphere has done that.
"Referees can find it difficult when the atmosphere is charged and it will be on Sunday. But I think both sets of players have conducted themselves well."