Friday, November 09, 2007

As Berbatov to United talk reignites: Why it's unlikely to happen...

Oh dear, only 24 hours after Berbatov says that all the talk of him wanting to leave Spurs because he's unhappy is untrue and just when Spurs fans might have hoped that the issue has been put to bed for a few weeks, and then what do you know, his brother pipes up and says 'he's outgrown Spurs and wants to join Manchester United'. Is it a PR disaster, or is it part of a cunning plan on the part of the Bulgarian striker and his camp? Time will tell on that front.

The latest gossip doing the rounds about Spurs and Berbatov, is that he might have become unsettled due to competition for places. I find that scenario hard to believe, he's been around long enough to know that it's healthy to have players fighting for places in the starting eleven.

Expert pundit Graham Souness reacted to this theory by adding that if he eventually ends up at Manchester United, he will have plenty of competition for places. How true.

One thing is for sure, there's been too many stories about Berbatov appearing in the press about him being 'unhappy', it surely must be a case of no smoke without fire.

So what are the chances of him pitching at Old Trafford this January? Slim is my own view. Here's why. Ferguson for sure wants a new striker, but he's building a new team and the last thing he needs right now is someone who will want assurances about his place in the side. For one thing, the manager cannot give any guarantees with Rooney and Tevez clearly being his preferred strike partnership. That said, it didn't stop Fergie telling Alan Smith he'd only be used as a striker before signing, only for the former Leeds man to end up in midfield.

You could understand Berbatov expecting to have some sort of assurances about his probable place in the side, he's older and has more experience than Rooney and Tevez. However, Fergie may well prefer to sign someone who wont expect to start every game and be less demanding - it all adds to the pressure of management, only this week Fergie went public stating that he's finding it hard to leave out players like Fletcher.

That said, if Berbatov says that he would be willing to fight for his place, then there's a slim chance it might happen. However, Spurs have a fair record of pulling United's collective trousers down when it comes to transfer fees. After the Reds had completed the signing of Michael Carrick for silly money, sources close to Spurs let it be known that they'd have accepted a lot less, now that was really taking the p*** - it might have seemed funny at the time, but the stunt may have soured relations between the two clubs and it could lead to problems in further negotiations. So the transfer fee would be another potential stumbling block.

There's also the possibility that United might offer a player in exchange for the Bulgarian, Fergie might want shut of injury prone Saha, even Michael Carrick could be up for grabs with the summer signings of Hargreaves and Anderson. Though the arrival Ramos is surely more likely to lead to players from Spain or South America arriving at the Lane in January. So while the Red Devils might well prefer a player plus cash exchange, I think Ramos will have other ideas (that's assuming he's actually got a say on new players).

All in all and for the reasons outlined above, my gut feeling is that Berbatov will not be coming to United in the short term, not to play for the Reds at least at any rate. I do rate the Bulgarian though, his style is different to the likes of Tevez and Rooney. He would be a good signing if a deal could be done.

1 comment:

  1. I do agree with you. Berba, unlikely will land to soil of Old Trafford as a Man Utd player. Though we have kind of short of quality striker right now, what we actually want now is striker that willing to sit on bench and making impact when needed.

    Partnership of Rooney-Tevez, itself likely makes Saha given new roles as supersub of some sort. So we MAY see striker from MU reserve will be promoted to senior squad.

    OR. We'll 4-5-1 with Anderson behind the striker, and Carrick-Hagreaves-Scholes deployed in the engine room.

    Only time will tell.

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