Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Big bid for Berbatov

The Bulgarian has long been on United's radar after his stunning first season with Spurs two seasons ago. United were reportedly close to clinching Berbatov's signature last summer, before Spurs nipped in to secure his long term future at White Hart Lane.

However, there seems to be no such reprieve for the North London side this time around, with Berba's agent confirming that his client had received a formal offer from Sir Alex Ferguson's United and has expressed a wish to leave Spurs.

Despite stating publicly that Berbatov is not for sale, Spurs chief Juande Ramos has privately conceded defeat in his bid to keep the Bulgarian for next season, with Tottenham already swooping in for Espanyol forward Luis Garcia and eyeing Euro 2008 star Andrei Arshavin as another potential replacement.

According to the English broadsheet The Daily Telegraph, a fee of US$56 million, subject to performance-related add-ons, has been agreed by both parties.

Although still a hefty price tag, the fee is actually US$4 million lower than the original bounty placed on the player. Despite this decrease, the proposed fee is still considered as a coup for Tottenham, with the club having previously rejected United's first offer of US$40 million.

The paper now speculates that Berbatov's impending move to Manchester will create a chain reaction in the transfer market for a number of Premiership clubs.

Spurs are now ready to make use of the Berbatov windfall by launching a US$34 million bid for Blackburn's dazzling right winger David Bentley.

The Daily Telegraph also claims that Ramos will use his current keeper, Paul Robinson, as bait for Bentley, a move which would also mark the end of Brad Friedel's Ewood Park career, with Aston Villa looking likely to lauch a US$5 million bid for the American.

New Blackburn boss Paul Ince, who is facing a nightmare transfer exodus, admitted on Monday that Aston Villa have also entered the fray for Bentley by submitting their own bid. The former MK Dons boss has identified Liverpool's Jermaine Pennant as a possible replacement for Bentley.

He did, however, squash rumours the that 37-year old Friedel was bound for the exit door, stating that he wants to "keep his best players".

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