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Is Berba Going Back To Bayer Leverkusen?

Dimitar Berbatov was the Premier League’s top scorer seven months ago and lifted a record breaking 19th title with Manchester United. He has been fourth choice striker at the club this season though, behind Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez.

The club tried to sell the striker in the summer following his omission from the Champions League final squad but the player wasn’t having any of it, determined to stay on our books and fight for his place and has behaved admirably since.

Whilst Berbatov’s contract expires in the summer, meaning he would be allowed to leave for free, United have the option to extend his deal by a further year. If you are to believe the manager, that is what the club is intending to do.

“There is absolutely no reason for me to let him go,” Ferguson said last month. “He is an outstanding footballer and we will give the extra year. He plays a great role and he trains well. He has no complaints. The boy is a great professional and we are happy for him to be here. You need a good number of strikers in the modern day. If you look back to 1999, we had four great strikers. They all played their part. That is exactly what will happen today.”

However, Berba is one of the highest earners at the club and if the policy from the summer is to be continued, where we saw the likes of Wes Brown and John O’Shea replaced with younger players on much smaller wages, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see him leave in January, when at least we could get some sort of a transfer fee for him too. It’s a disgrace to think we could sell him whilst keeping the likes of Federico Macheda and Mame Biram Diouf but that’s a possibility under the Glazer ownership.

Speaking to Bild, Berbatov’s representative, Ivan Dobrinov, has claimed the talk of the Bulgarian returning to his former club, Bayer Leverkusen, is not just a rumour. United will let the player know in the next week whether his deal will be extended for another year, and if it’s not, he will be free to leave in January.

“It’s more than a rumour,” Dobrinov said. “Leverkusen have it on their minds to get Berbatov. There is contact, but nothing concrete yet. It all depends on United’s plans. We wait until 2nd January. Until then, United have the option but if that does not happen then Berbatov would be a free transfer in the summer. The player has never forgotten Leverkusen, the club is still very dear to him. Furthermore, he has a good relationship with the leadership at Bayer.”

Yesterday Leverkusen CEO Wolfgang Holzhauser was reported to have confirmed the interest.

“I would even say that the contact is friendly. But there is certainly nothing concrete at the moment. I also read that Manchester United would like to extend his contract.”

Today though, following an interview with Deutsche Presseagentur, Holzhauser claims Berbatov’s agent is just stirring things and that they haven’t tried to sign him.

“A transfer of Dimitar Berbatov to our club is pure speculation and we will not partake in this gossip,” he said. “Things have been forced by his agents and it displeases me to know that. We have remained in close contact with Dimitar since he left the club but this is purely on an amicable basis.”

In just his second league start of the season against Wigan, Berbatov scored a hattrick, showing that he still has a part to play. Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck were both given a rest and the Bulgarian ensured we got three points regardless. Will he be happy to be used in this way? I don’t see why not, considering that’s how he ended last season.

“My mind was always set on joining Manchester United,” he said two months ago. “How can you not go to United? I don’t play for money. I play for glory and winning championships. I’m happy here. My family is together in Manchester. I hear people complain about the weather, there’s nothing to do and the food. But, for me, it’s not like that. I play for a club I love, the biggest club, and everything else doesn’t matter.”

We would have to understand if he chose to leave though because he is too good to be used as sparingly as he is at United. Leverkusen’s top scorer this season is Eren Derdiyok on 6 goals which a tally Berba would obviously feel confident of beating. Berbatov spent six seasons at Leverkusen and according to his agent would have no problem with returning. He turns 31-years-old next month and this could be his last opportunity to sign a big contract. However, it would be quite a step down to join Leverkusen, who are currently 6th in the Bundesliga.

“Manchester United are at the top,” he said in the summer. “Where can you go from there? If you go somewhere else it is a big step down.” Is he prepared to make the big step down? Will United make that decision for him? Four days until we find out…


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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194 Comments

  1. rohan19 says:

    i sure hope berbatov plays..
    i see us winning by atleast 4 goals.. ending the year on a high..

    ddg rafael smalling rio evra
    jones carrick
    valencia rooney nani
    berbatov

    welbeck might play left wing.. nani needs rest. the lad’s been playing continuously..

  2. rohan19 says:

    its about time rafael plays.. thats if he hasn’t picked up an injury while sleeping in his bed

  3. mufcmyreligion says:

    @CedarsDevil
    Well spoke at the voice of the voiceless earlier, just got in from work to catch up with ROM and seems like i missed some excellent banter!! Well spoke regarding the debates we have at the moment, is it a coincidence this voiceless appears out of the BLUE after years of hiding?? A city fan in disguise?? lol

  4. parryheid says:

    WillieRedNut.

    Damn right it’s not my style,I wouldn’t know how to do it and if I am laying the tagies into any one I want to make sure there is no misunderstanding who it is so don’t worry your pretty little head about it.One thing is for sure it wouldn’t be I was in Dubia when. That I would use as an alias if I knew how, I wouldn’t give him the time of day Mr ulterior motive

  5. WillieRedNut says:

    This blog has become inception. Whats real, and what isn’t? Fake names can only lead you so far. The stench is hard to get rid of. Like a lingering fart, the smell will always follow you around. You can’t beat the blog! The blog is us! We’ll always find you out fake cunts.

  6. WillieRedNut says:

    parry – If i had a pretty little head, of course. Lovely face, but hard nugget.

  7. CedarsDevil says:

    mufcmyreligion

    Not a blue pal in my opinion, just a freak! hahahaha

  8. JR says:

    the first i saw of this story was in the local paper here in Germany. i couldnt quite believe it. The story was in the local Bergheim paper 3 days ago, sayin this transfer could well happen. It was a sydictaed article from Bild on a slow news day, the 26th Dec. Other stories in the paper were drunk people falling under trams in Cologne which wouldnt usually get any colum inches at all. I cant see berba going anywhere.

  9. King Eric says:

    It will be fucking criminal if berba leaves. He is one aside from Giggs who is the most technically gifted players at United.

    What’s this about kingericunt? Aint seen that. Is it on previous thread? Please post it on a newer one as phone takes ages to load that reactions thread. Parryheid wouldn’t do that. We have our disagreements but he aint like that. Whichever fucking gutless little prick it is get from behind your pc and I will meet you near the ground on Sat. I mean that. I aint some hardcase at all but I won’t back away from any cunt. What the fuck has this shit become seriously? Fucking idiots stealing I’d s and causing arguments. A fucking shambles.

  10. smartalex says:

    WillieRedNut is right.

    If you’ve alienated yourself with poor behaviour, changing your name yet behaving exactly the same is hardly likely to help. Your new username has the same dismal personality. Instead of just changing your username, change your attitude. Then you’ll get the camaraderie that you seek.

  11. smartalex says:

    Here we go King Eric:

    DECEMBER 29, 2011 AT 14:17 king erikunt says:
    good article this. its actually about football.. not the needless rambling of some irritating Lebanese guy or some guy who’s got to take pills to keep himself alive.. or like the ramblings of smartyalex who keeps driving away fools and others included

    and

    … Im just here to infuriate smartalex… nothin else.. got no beef with anyone else.. who i am is anyone’s guess. im one of the many smartalex has abused..
    this shit’s gotta stop

  12. Fred says:

    JR – thanks for the German perspective. The big man is going nowhere. He’ll be back in the team on Saturday and has a part to play in us winning number 20. 8)

  13. smartalex says:

    The username is a vicious dig at King Eric.

    The first comment attacks CedarsDevil, smartalex (me) and Giles.

    I wonder who it is? Pretty obvious.

  14. CedarsDevil says:

    Lebanese guy who takes pills? How the fuck did I miss that?

    Fucking sick demented bastard

  15. CedarsDevil says:

    Not fucking leeds scum Moses surely?

  16. CedarsDevil says:

    smartalex

    Please post me the link and specify the exact time of the cunt’s post.

  17. RED says:

    I’m not gonna lie but I’m pretty damn sure berba is gonna start the next game, simply cause if he continues his scoring form clubs will start looking at him again.

    Leverkusen don’t have the funds to compete with the like of PSG or Anzhi when it comes to a bidding war. These 2 clubs are picking up has beens to bring prestige to their club, and when enough glamour and of course money has been pumped up, better players heads will be turned, and they will soon turn into a major european force. We have already seen this with Man Shitty. First they start off with the likes of wayne bridge and santa cruz, then they get bigger players in like Jo and Adebayor, then Lescott and the turning point Carlos fucking Tevez. This basically attracts all the other elite players such as Silva and Balotelli and Yaya Toure.

    What I’m trying to say is that Berba would serve as one of those players who would attract more young players to go to those clubs… I read a report today linking pato with PSG, this is what money does to the club: creates ambition and temptation for the best players. Berbatov will thus be an interesting prospect for PSG or Anzhi to look at, and if they offered anything in the region above 15 million for the 31 year old then there is no way we shouldnt take it.

    Yes, berba has qualities very few players on this planet have, but practically he is getting a bit old, and is holding back the development of chicho and welbeck. Plus if we need a fourth choice striker we have the luxury of choosing between Owen, Diouf and Macheda, none of whom are good enough for a regular starting berth. Berba is certainly a starting kind of player though so moving on would do wonders for him.

    Just my 2 cents.

  18. smartalex says:

    CedarsDevil – certainly my good man!

    14:17 (look at the end of a long comment that is actually a cut and paste of a referee’s report)

    and 16:21

    http://therepublikofmancunia.com/reactions-to-victory-over-wigan/#comment-436584

    … also look at my comment at 16:40 identifying the perp.

  19. smartalex says:

    CedarsDevil – The pill-popper referenced is not you. You are the “needless rambling of some irritating Lebanese guy”

    The next part of his attack is aimed at Giles. This miscreant posted vile anti-semetic and racist comments previously, causing furore, and Giles had to step in and chastise him sharply.

    This pain-in-the-ass holds grudges closer than he does his love for United.

  20. James21 says:

    Cedars
    I missed that comment earlier aimed at you. I pulled him on his username I too think its Moses. Told you all not to be taken in by his I’m ending my life bullshit he’s a dirty sick fuck. If he posts again then totally blank him mate. Not your way tho I’m sure.

  21. CedarsDevil says:

    smartalex

    Bloody hell, just read that….. Pity I was away, I would have smashed that sick demented fool

  22. smartalex says:

    CedarsDevil – did you read my 16:40 comment on that thread?

  23. CedarsDevil says:

    smartalex

    I did pal…..

    smartalex & James

    What can I say? The world is full of sick demented freaks….. Attacking me is one thing but having a sick pop at Giles is way out of order.

  24. FletchTHEMAN says:

    ON TOPIC

    Seems the basis for this thread is now suspect. With the Leverkusen boss saying it is horsefeathers.
    From ClickManchester

    Bayer Leverkusen chief Wolfgang Holzhauser has angrily responded to talk of re-signing Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov.
    Holzhauser has admitted his dismay at the speculation comments made earlier this week have sparked.
    “This is pure speculation,” asserted Holzhauser to news agency DPA. “Also, we do not want to get involved as the Bulgarian is currently under contract with Manchester United.
    “I view this [the speculation] with some displeasure,” Holzhauser continued. “The contact between Berbatov and I was only based on a friendly nature.”

  25. James21 says:

    Sick fuck. should report him to Scott.

  26. smartalex says:

    They are cowardly thugs CedarsDevil. It’s very sad.

    I could be wrong, but I’d guess that just a few of us get almost all the grief from trolls. What can you do? Live with it, i guess. But when it’s Giles, RoM or United being attacked, it’s not on.

  27. JC says:

    apparently the cunt has used my username as well just after my post loling at Fred’s nickname for Chicharito… what a douchebag. STR could stop this shit easily with login based posting whether using wordpress authentication or other.

  28. WillieRedNut says:

    Only realizing now, this king erikunt referenced me too! I should read more posts. ;)

  29. Fred says:

    Wow, how many logins does the cunt have? :? What a sick, demented fuck, as Cedars rightly says.

  30. James21 says:

    JC
    He’s a sick cunt who never got hugged as a child.

  31. WillieRedNut says:

    Reporting anyone is a waste of time. A few timed slaps would do the trick.

  32. wayne says:

    So some cunt could be winding me up with one user name and agreeing with me on another
    If some fuckwit is stealing id’s and using multiple user names just to stir up shit,fucker needs mental help

  33. wayne says:

    When it comes to Berba to me it’s a no brainer,i want all of the Berba doubters to take a good look around and how many strikers would you swap for him and how much would they cost,would they also be prepared to become a squad player?
    Berba is a top pro and person,they way Berba has handled the situation with no fuss is rare and it tells you all you need to know about him.He can be a usefull addition for another 4-5 yrs,with age the speed goes Berba doesn’t need that his skill set is unigue,some say his wages are too high but it gets back to the point of what it’ll cost to replace him.
    Take Berba out of the attack and don’t replace him makes Utd thin,don’t renew and let him walk away on a free doesn’t make much sense either,the only scenario that would make any sense if a money club came in and vastly overpaid for him.

  34. zactaxe says:

    The Arse trying to sign Henry back? I say let’s continue the theme — Fergie, sign Becks back…

  35. Ash says:

    I can’t see Berba leaving. Atleast not in january. People say he is a flop. Howcome a guy who has scored 53 goals in three and a half season a flop. The entertainment he has given to the united fans are worth 30 millions. Look at the likes of shevchenko, Torres at chelsea, Carrol, robinho etc these are the players who are flop.
    But if god forbid berbagod leaves this January we should demand atleast 15 millions. I would be very angry if we sell him for cheap.

  36. Ash says:

    Guys I don’t think voice of voiceless is a Bad guy so stop bullying him. I have chatted with him here and he sounds to me as a nice chap.
    Cedars- I read his post again and I can’t see anything harmful. He himself was frustrated with the 2012 and 2013 thing so he just pointed out that. I can’t see anything wrong with that.
    smartalex- Stop saying everyone as sachu. I know many had a fight with him but Vov is not sachu. Vov talked about football. Don’t put wrong allegation please.
    I have myself chatted with vov and thats why I am saying there has been a big misunderstanding to all you guys.

  37. lordrt says:

    if he goes then we’ll lose a quality player from the squad, and if I was SAF, I would have extended his contract and give him some more games, and instead sell Diouf or Macheda, who never really impressed to be honest. Remember when we had to get Larsson on loan to fix the attack, I don’t want something like this to happen again, Welbeck and Chicha are still very young and need to progress, while Berba can contribute his experience and quality to make United go further ahead, I would like to have someone like him to play in the Europa, yes I know many of you say this is a crap trophy, but yet it is another silverware to be added to our impressive collection, and with Berba available, we can rotate the squad and still win things

  38. smartalex says:

    Ash

    Don’t tell me what to do. You and ‘voiceless’ were close from the first comment he ever made.
    Weird that! I wondered where you knew him from and how come yo didn’t introduce yourselves.

    You’re trying to make trouble, and are siding with a poster that has only been here a few days and already is instructing and criticising everyone. He arrives here and attacks us and you now take his side and lie about us. You stop now. not another word on this topic from you. It looks like he’s posting under your name, or is your mate.

    If you mention my name again other than to compliment me you will regret it. You’re not a RoM local, and until you are tread warily. You do NOT have the right to protect wums that are rude to RoM Reds.

    Shut your fucking mouth! Not another word on this topic.

  39. Ash says:

    smartalex

    Shut the fuck up You moron. compliment you? What have you done to receive any compliment. You are not God here. Don’t start Unnecessary fight.
    You are best at one thing that is abusing others and starting fights.
    FUCK OFF

  40. smartalex says:

    Ash – I logged on to find that you were siding with a new poster that attacked us at RoM.

    You were issuing us instructions and protecting someone you’ve spoken to briefly. Funny that you guys hit it off so well from his FIRST post, and now you’re defending him, against old regulars that defended RoM. You are with him, not with us, so go be with him.

    Apologise and stop interfering, or fuck off.

  41. voice of voiceless says:

    Ash- thanks mate for supporting this wum(That is me according to some genius) :lol: .
    Just Ignore him. He thinks I am everyone. :lol:

  42. parryheid says:

    The official United site says Berbatov is getting an contract extension which pleases me greatly.

  43. smartalex says:

    Sir Alex says:

    “We’ll be exercising [the option to renew Berbatov's contract]. I think it kicks in in March.”

  44. StatesideAussie says:

    parryheid and smartalex … that is indeed excellent news!

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