Tottenham make plans for life without striker Berbatov
Friday 09 May 2008
Tottenham Hotspur's head coach Juande Ramos has started making plans for life without Dimitar Berbatov and admits the striker has made his mind up on his future at White Hart Lane. Ramos wants to keep Berbatov but concedes the 27-year-old Bulgaria international could depart if a club matches Spurs' valuation and the player wants to move.
The Spurs boss has indicated his preference would be cash for the player rather than a swap deal. "I've spoken to him many times and know exactly what he wants," said the Spaniard.
Ramos, when asked if it is possible to change Berbatov's mind at this stage, added: "No, I understand perfectly well that big clubs want to sign him."
Berbatov has recovered from a groin injury and is available to play against Liverpool on Sunday, which could be a farewell appearance if an appropriate bid is tabled over the summer.
With Berbatov tipped to eventually grace the Champions League, Spurs have looked at other strikers in case he leaves. Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o has been linked with a move to Spurs and the Catalan giants have suggested they would study any bid made for the Cameroon forward.
Ramos said: "Obviously we have to cover our backs in case the player decides to leave and we have to have options to replace him.
"I would obviously like him to stay here but we don't know how future negotiations will go so it is something I cannot guarantee. If there are offers coming in for the player we will see if they convince the club and the player as well.
"What we want is for the player to be happy and enjoy his football. The player has the key to this and it is up to him at the end of the day. If that happened I'm sure the club would prefer money because then they would be able to sign the players necessary. "
Ramos believes it will be possible to replace Berbatov if he leaves, adding: "Of course there are great players in Europe that can do just as well as Berbatov."
Berbatov is one of many potential departures this summer as Ramos shapes his squad for his first full season in the Premier League. Centre-back Younes Kaboul has publicly criticised the head coach and is interested in a move to Portsmouth, while Radek Cerny is expected to sign for QPR.
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