Berbatov close to Fulham move as Rooney stays put


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The Independent Online

Fulham were last night near to achieving what Juventus, the Italian champions, failed to do: convince Dimitar Berbatov to join them.

The Bulgarian international striker, right, was close to a move to Craven Cottage, after turning down both Fiorentina and Juventus. Martin Jol, the Fulham manager, confirmed Berbatov was having a medical with the club.

He said: "There were a lot of clubs interested in him but we were able and capable of getting him. He was on my list all the time. I tried to do something months ago and it didn't come off so I came back and it was the right moment for him to make his decision."

The Manchester United chief executive, David Gill, yesterday dismissed suggestions that the striker Wayne Rooney could be sold by the club as "absolute garbage".

Rooney, who is currently out of action following the gash to his leg suffered against Fulham, has also denied that his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson has disintegrated to the extent that he could be sold over the course of the next year. Gill said: "He's definitely not for sale.

"He didn't start in one game on Saturday for various reasons. Alex picks the team and that's it. Whenever he's not played people try to drum up stories.

"I can categorically say there has been no discussion whatsoever. He's on a long-term contract with us. He's very integral to our team going forward. He's a great player, got a bad injury, will come back without a shadow of doubt. He was angry about the story, quite rightly."

Queen's Park Rangers are closing in on the signing of Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero. The west London club have agreed a £9m fee with the Spanish champions, and are now discussing personal terms.

Scott Sinclair and Richard Wright were having medicals at Manchester City last night as the Premier League champions continued adding players to aid their title defence.

Swansea City hope to replace Sinclair with Pablo Hernandez from Valencia. A third bid from Swansea for the 27-year-old Spain international has been successful.