According to the Telegraph, 30-year-old Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov has been told he can leave United by Sir Alex Ferguson and is now subject to a late bid by Fulham and former Spurs manager Martin Jol who managed him at Tottenham before his club-record £30.75 million move to Old Trafford back in 2008. The Telegraph suggest that the player has now fallen to fifth-choice striker at United behind new signing Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez.
The Telegraph say that Berbatov had been expected to move to Fiorentina in a £3 million move after the Italian side agreed a fee with United, but Berbatov chose to delay any decision after hearing of interest from both Fulham and Italian giants Juventus. The Florence side had planned for the Bulgarian to have a medical on Tuesday, but it didn’t happen and the club have now released a scathing statement via their official website:
“ACF Fiorentina announce that the transfer for Dimitar Berbatov definitively collapsed after an agreement with Manchester United had been concluded (with shared exchange of contracts, the first instalment paid and the financial guarantees for the second instalment ratified) and after reaching a verbal agreement with the player over his contract.
“During today the English club had allowed their player the written permission to come to Florence for a medical and to sign his contract.
“The player got on the flight with his agent and on tickets paid for by Fiorentina. He never arrived in Florence.
“This was down to outlandish and arrogant behaviour of other clubs, who have nothing to do with fair play and sporting ethics that go even beyond the confines of fairness.
“As for the player, apart from his characteristics and his value on the field, at this stage we are happy he didn’t come to Fiorentina. He did not deserve our city, to wear our jersey or the values that represent it.”
The Telegraph are suggesting that Berbatov’s £100,000 a week wages at United would mean his potential earnings could be a stumbling point for Fulham, but that the capitol side are in the market for a forward after signing Sunderland midfielder Kieran Richardson last night and selling Moussa Dembélé’s to Spurs for £15 million. The Bulgarian couldn’t pick up the same kind of wages in Italy, according to the Telegraph’s report, with Fiorentina understood to have offered less than a third of his United wages at £1.5 million a year, and with Juventus prepared to outdo Fiorentina’s offer but not to match Berbatov’s current salary.
The same newspaper are also reporting that Wayne Rooney has taken to Twitter to challenge the rumours that he may be sold, calling them “absolute rubbish,” but that United are looking to deals – whether permanent or temporary – for Federico Macheda and Bébé before the transfer window closes. The paper says that Macheda has already been the subject of interest from Bursaspor, but that £7.4 million winger Bébé has so far not attracted any interest.
So what do you think United fans – should Fergie still be selling Berbatov with Rooney out for a number of weeks? Share your thoughts below.