I can’t even imagine Sir Alex Ferguson’s face upon hearing reports that Manchester City have put a bid in for Dimitar Berbatov. Following their takeover by Abu Dhabi United Group for Development, reports this morning suggest that their primary transfer target before the window closes today is Berbatov, with rumours of bids from £28 million – £30 + million.
Will City be able to beat their hated rivals to the signing of a player? Having bragging rights for god knows how long? I certainly hope not!
This was not part of the plan. I imagine United were waiting until the very last moment, knowing that Spurs would be wanting to get rid of the player as much as we wanted to sign him. It was a matter of who would crack first. If needed, with time running out, United could cave and offer Spurs what they wanted. There’s no way we’d lose out on signing him for the sake of coughing up an extra £3 million.
Whilst Spurs will be looking for any excuse not to sell him to us, following our ‘disgraceful’ and ‘arrogant’ behaviour, there is something that needs to be considered before the bluenoses get too giddy. The player has to reach an agreement with the proposed club before anything can go through.
Berbatov isn’t getting any younger and after giving two years of his career to Spurs, where he believed they would have achieved a coveted fourth place finish, and therefore entry in to the Champions League, and he wants to play on the biggest stage. Spurs are a long way away from achieving such a goal and Berbatov is right in looking to sign for a club that will offer him that opportunity.
Let’s imagine he was to consider a move to City. He is arguably at the peak of his career right now. By the end of this season, Berbatov will be 28-years-old. Despite the money that City may now be able to spend, they won’t be able to create a team that is capable of finishing 4th this season, simply because today is the last day to sign players. So there would be at the very least, imagining best case scenerio for City, another two seasons before they were playing in the Champions League. Berbatov would be pushing 30-years-old by then and he would have missed the opportunity to play in Europe at his peak.
Moving to City would be no better for him that the prospect of staying at Spurs was for him at the beginning of the summer. He wanted out so he could play against Europe’s finest teams. If he was to go to City, he would be in exactly the same situation he’s in now.
As I type, he is flying to Manchester, although that doesn’t really narrow it down!
Either United have to match City’s bid today or I imagine the player will have to stick around until January where we’d try again. Whilst the panic might have set in initially, to look at the situation rationally means we probably will still get our player. The day is a lot more tense that I was expecting it to be though!
The RoM Manchester United 2022-23 season preview is now available for just £6. It includes exclusive interviews with Patrice Evra and Kleberson, articles from the country's best football writers about our expectations for the season ahead and our brightest talents, as well as proposed transfer business and which youth players to keep an eye out for. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.