“We have made Tottenham an offer on Berbatov and we have good expectations that this deal will go through,” Sir Alex Ferguson said yesterday. “Berbatov has been impressive during a long time and would be a great addition to our attack. I think time will work for us more than against us. We will not stress this situation. We are hoping to have a constructive conversation with Tottenham in the near future.”
After losing out on the player two years ago, it seemed as though Fergie was finally going to get his man. However, a press statement from Tottenham Hotspur later in the day threw a spanner in the works. Apparently Ferguson is a hypocrite…
“Today’s public comments by Manchester United’s manager, announcing that he has made an offer for Dimitar and is confident that the deal will go through with time working in their favour, is a blatant example of sheer arrogance and interference with one of our players,” said Tottenham Hotspur chairman, Daniel Levy, in a statement on the club’s official website. “It is also probably one of the worst offences by any manager in the Premier League to date and is unbelievably hypocritical given his recent comments in respect of Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid. As a result, we have today made an official complaint to the PL about the conduct of Manchester United.”
Spurs have also thrown their dummy out where the dippers’ pursuit of Robbie Keane is concerned, reporting Liverpool to the Premier League as well.
“The behaviour of both clubs has been disgraceful,” Levy continued. “We told both clubs very early on that we had no interest in selling Robbie or Dimitar, respectively, and that they should refrain from pursuing the player. Both clubs arrogantly chose to ignore this request and we now have evidence that both clubs have systematically been working to prise the players away from us, outside of PL rules of conduct.”
Now, whilst I imagine Spurs aren’t overjoyed at the prospect of losing two of their strikers, I cannot abide by this cry-baby approach they are resorting to, as to compare this with the situation we have with Ronaldo is quite simply moronic.
Firstly, let’s take a look at what the respective clubs have been saying all summer about these transfer targets.
“We know the situation of Berbatov and we are calm about it,” he said in April. “If a team comes along and pays the asking price the chairman wants then possibly yes.”
“Berbatov is with us at the moment and we are going to enjoy having him with us,” he said at the beginning of May. “If he goes, we will have to look for a replacement for him but if not he will be here.”
“We will see what happens there, but we are talking about two very important players,” he said this week, in reference to Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane. “For the moment they are with us, but whatever happens the idea is to have a great squad, with the potential to allow us to aim to improve on what we managed last season. At Tottenham, we have had a clear philosophy regarding buying and selling for years. The idea is signing young players, promising and talented ones, and if important offers for older players are made, studying it to see what is the best for the club.”
Sir Alex Ferguson
“I can say he’ll be a Manchester United player next season,” Ferguson said this week. “That’s our stance, he won’t be sold.”
Ronaldo is not for the sale has been the message from the United camp since the start of this saga. There has been no conflict of opinion coming out of Old Trafford. Ronaldo won’t be sold, rather will, without any doubt, start next season as a United player.
How then can Real Madrid’s following of Cristiano Ronaldo, where his club have on all occasions denied there being any chance the player will leave, be compared to United’s following of Berbatov, where his club have been open to his transfer? Quite simply, it can’t.
Secondly, to call Ferguson a hypocrite suggests that he is guilty of what Real Madrid have been doing all summer. Whilst Ferguson has spoken to the press this week about Berbatov, to liken that to the stalking Ronaldo has received over the past few months is absolutely ridiculous.
Now, had Fergie been speaking to the press about his intentions over Berbatov regularly, I’d understand this claim he is a hypocrite. However, considering Fergie has spoken to the club and given the impression that the transfer was going to go through, why then should he be prevented from voicing this to the media? The Spurs manager has said if the price is right, the player can go. Should then Fergie presume that this isn’t the case at all?
Of course, we don’t know what was said in the private meetings between United and Spurs, we can only speculate. Spurs could have said categorically that there is no chance the player will be sold – but if that was the case, why would they be meeting with United in the first place? United haven’t held any meetings with Real Madrid to tell them they’ve got no chance, afterall. Or more likely, in my opinion, Spurs have told United they need to stump up more cash, or the deal won’t happen. Fergie will be waiting for clearance from the Glazers over the asking price and then further meetings can take place, with the hopeful conclusion, as Fergie mentioned, that Berbatov joins United.
Spurs are clearly trying to save face, fully aware that there is every chance they are going to lose out on both Keane and Berbatov, who are fed up of being promised glory, yet seeing little evidence to back it up. The strikers scored 23 goals each last season, so there isn’t much chance of the fans being happy to see them both leave. “Well it’s alright, at least we’ve got Darren Bent,” are not going to be the words crossing many Spurs’ fans lips at the moment. Of course Spurs can’t be seen to be selling these players without a fight, so this is where the pathetic report to the Premier League comes in.
Berbatov is a quality player and I think he’d add a lot to our side, however the behaviour of Spurs in this situation has pushed me over the edge, and they need to be careful it doesn’t work up Fergie’s temper in the same way. Their manager has told the press on numerous occasions that the player will be sold for the right price. This week, Fergie has said he believes they have met this price so expects the player to come to United. If Spurs have a problem, then they need to have a word with their touting manager, not the bloody Premier League!
United are reported to be offering close to three times what Spurs paid for Berbatov just two summers ago. We bought Michael Carrick off them for six times what they’d paid for him two summers before. They’ve made an absolute killing in the transfer market where United are concerned and now they’re going to pull a stunt like this?
Well screw them, as far as I’m concerned. United and Liverpool should both pull out of the deals, leaving Spurs with two strikers who desperately want to play for another team and who will resent Tottenham for denying them moves to their desired clubs, playing Champions League football.