£30m or Berbatov will stay with us, warn Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur have told Dimitar Berbatov that he is running the risk of "rotting in the reserves" for a season unless Manchester United pay the transfer fee being demanded for the striker.

The stark warning was delivered yesterday to Berbatov and his agent, Emil Dantchev, by the club, who are adamant that the minimum transfer fee they will accept for the 27-year-old is £30m. Spurs say they will not budge on that figure.

If United refuse to pay the fee, then Spurs insist they will not sell and Berbatov will remain their player, even though he has handed in a transfer request and spoken openly about his "dream" of moving to Old Trafford. If he then continues to be disruptive, he will be consigned to the reserves for the rest of the campaign. Before Saturday's Premier League match against Sunderland Berbatov claimed he was not "psychologically" fit and was dropped from the squad.

Similar threats have been made to players in the past and are rarely carried through, not least because of the legalities surrounding such moves and the risk that is run in the player's value plummeting. But Spurs insisted yesterday that they were determined to stand their ground and would punish Berbatov if they had to.

The irony for United is that it was claimed over the summer that Sir Alex Ferguson was given the backing by the Glazer family, the club's owners, to take a similarly hard-line stance with Cristiano Ronaldo – a parallel which has probably not been lost on Spurs which is why they may want the same message to be broadcast about Berbatov.

What is certain is that Spurs are particularly angry that United have continually indicated they will raise their bid of £20.5m for Berbatov, which was rejected earlier this summer, but have not done so while suggesting they are not prepared to go beyond £25m. As of yesterday there still had not been an official confirmation that, with the transfer window closing at midnight next Monday, United had submitted a new bid.

Spurs are also annoyed that United have suggested that they must drop their complaint that they made an illegal approach for the Bulgarian. Spurs regard this as a ridiculous demand, especially as they secured an apology, and a donation to charity, from Liverpool after a similar complaint over their courting of Robbie Keane, who eventually left for £19m.

The Spurs board has investigated whether there are grounds for fining Berbatov because of his behaviour but the sanction has not been carried out as the player has not refused to train or play. It was, ultimately, the club's decision to leave him out of the squad to face Sunderland.

Berbatov reported for training again yesterday, just as he did on Sunday, when he was called in for talks with head coach Juande Ramos. The Spaniard (below) is angry and embarrassed by the situation and wants Berbatov to leave but accepts that, with the structure he agreed to work under when he arrived last season, that the club's board are handling negotiations.

Of more immediate concern to him, after losing the first two league games of the season and with Chelsea their next opponents this coming Sunday, is the failure to sign any replacement strikers. Darren Bent is the only available option, although club representatives again watched the Colombian international striker Falcao play and score for Argentinian club River Plate at the weekend. The 22-year-old is available for €15m (£12m) and Spurs may also consider a move for Ajax's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, even though they believe the Dutch international is overpriced.

Spurs insist they are no longer interested in signing Andrei Arshavin. But both the player's representatives and his club, Zenit St Petersburg, still believe that a deal can be struck especially as the asking price for the 27-year-old has been dropped to £20m. Spurs offered £16.5m to Zenit, who have signed Portuguese playmaker Danny, but claim he is not Arshavin's replacement, insisting they wanted £24m.

There have been claims that Berbatov is considering going on strike to try and force through his sale but this has been denied by those close to the player. They make no secret of his unhappiness, and his desire to leave, but are also frustrated that United have not made a decisive move having courted Berbatov for more than a year.

United sources continue to claim that a bid will be submitted before the deadline and it may be that a compromise can eventually be reached if, as with the transfer of Michael Carrick between the two clubs, Spurs' valuation is met by add-ons and incentives.

The £30m fee is itself a revaluation, as Spurs had initially insisted they would not accept less than £32m. But that was when they had hoped United would face competition from other clubs, specifically Barcelona, for the player, who arrived only two years ago for £10.9m from Bayer Leverkusen but who has proved to be one of the stars of the Premier League.

Other summer transfer sagas

* Barry to Liverpool

The Gareth Barry soap opera has dragged on since early summer and does now appear to have hit the wall after Liverpool's American owners refused to stump up £18m for a half-decent Villa midfielder. It has caused rifts between Rafa and Rick, Rafa and the owners and Rafa and the supporters. Barry and Martin O'Neill have also had a tiff, with Barry accusing his manager of loving the BBC more than him. Only Stevie G and Gareth are still best buddies. You could crawl from Barry to Liverpool in the time this one has gone on and it would be more fun.

* Arshavin to Spurs

The Russian playmaker had one good game at the Euros and Zenit St Petersburg have been rubbing their hands together ever since and holding out for maximum cash. A few clubs toyed with the idea and Spurs have thrown in a few serious bids, but nothing in the region of Zenit's asking price. We've all forgotten that one stellar performance against the Dutch anyway, and just keep thinking: 'If he's that good, how come he's 27 and still playing in Russia?'

* Alsono to anyone

The Spaniard first flirted with Juventus at the start of the summer before Claudio Ranieri, the Italian club's manager, pulled the plug. Since then Alonso has been linked with a move to Arsenal but his move has seemed to depend on Barry replacing him at Anfield. Now the deal appears to have fallen through, Alonso must feel about as welcome in Liverpool as Boris Johnson.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone