Manchester United set for £27m loss as striker Dimitar Berbatov heads for Italy


Click to follow
The Independent Football

Manchester United have reportedly agreed a deal with Fiorentina for the transfer of Dimitar Berbatov, although there are rumours that Juventus might hijack the deal.

The Bulgarian is travelling to Italy today, although exactly where is uncertain.

Reports in England suggested Fiorentina have agreed to pay £4m for the striker, who joined Manchester United in 2008 for £30.75m. Although there are claims in Italy that Juventus could match the offer and snatch the Bulgarian away as they look to bolster their strike force.

Should Berbatov depart for the fee of £4m, United will make a loss of £27m on a player likened to Eric Cantona upon his arrival from Tottenham.

With the arrival of Robin van Persie, Berbatov's chances were always going to be limited this season, and the 31-year-old made clear he wished to move on.

It was thought the injury to Wayne Rooney, sustained against Fulham at the weekend, may scupper Berbatov's exit, but the latest reports suggest Alex Ferguson has sanctioned a deal.

Despite being Manchester United's most expensive ever signing, Berbatov failed to nail down a place in Ferguson's team in what will be remembered as a disappointing spell at Old Trafford.

In his first season Berbatov scored 14 goals in all competitions, and in the next, just 12.

In the 2010/11 season, the former Bayer Leverkusen striker appeared to hit his stride somewhat, finishing the season as joint top scorer in the Premier League with 20 goals, although that owed largely to braces against smaller teams.

The emergence of Danny Welbeck limited Berbatov to just 12 league appearances for United last season, while he has not been used yet this term.

Berbatov will perhaps be best remembered for his casual penalty against Everton in the 2009 FA Cup semi-final, a spot-kick which encapsulated the striker's languid, and often frustrating style.