Alex Ferguson relaxed over future of unsettled striker Dimitar Berbatov

 

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson can understand why striker Dimitar Berbatov wants to leave the club.

The Red Devils' £30.75million record signing has grown so tired of waiting for his future to be thrashed out that he penned a message on his Facebook site at the weekend, expressing his dismay at how the figure he is being told he can leave for is doubled when clubs come and ask.

Berbatov was linked with AC Milan this week ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's now completed move to Paris St Germain, while there has also been interest from Turkey.

"The boy has a future, but if he wants to leave it is a different matter," Ferguson said following last night's 1-0 win over AmaZulu in Durban.

"I am easy about it if he stays. I would be happy with that.

"But if someone comes in and Dimitar wants to leave we will assess it."

Berbatov has cut a lonely figure for 18 months now.

Left out of United's squad for the 2011 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona, he was squeezed out last term thanks to the emergence of Danny Welbeck, in addition to the joint presence of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez.

"I do not need to herald the abilities of Dimitar Berbatov. He is a fantastic talent," Ferguson said.

"Last season he didn't quite get the amount of football he wants.

"At his age [31], it was difficult for him to accept his position in the forward line.

"He had Rooney, Welbeck and Hernandez in front of him, and they are all young men."

It does appear certain that, at some point prior to the August transfer deadline, he will end an ultimately unfulfilling four-year stint with the club.

He did at least have the satisfaction of setting up the only goal for Federico Macheda last night as the Red Devils recorded an unconvincing victory in their opening pre-season game.

Ferguson introduced £17million new-boy Shinji Kagawa for the final couple of minutes, although he should have more meaningful involvement in Saturday's encounter with Ajax Cape Town.

The Scot has already stated that priority number one for him this season is to reclaim the Barclays Premier League title from Manchester City.

And he is expecting Paul Scholes to play a big role, even though he will celebrate his 38th birthday in November.

"He showed when he came back in January that he has not lost any ability," Ferguson said.

"It is not easy after being out for seven or eight months, although I felt he should never have gone away anyway.

"It was a good decision to come back and he can contribute in a big way for us.

"He will be 38 in November and like any player of that age we know that his legs will go eventually.

"But, as we have seen so often, there is no-one else in England who can dictate the pace, rhythm and tempo of a game and control that midfield area the way he does."

PA

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