Dimitar Berbatov's Agent Says He Wants Fulham Exit, Rene Meulensteen Disagrees

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23:  Dimitar Berbatov of Fulham reacts after a missed chance on goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Swansea City at Craven Cottage on November 23, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Dimitar Berbatov's agent has confirmed the Fulham striker wishes to leave Craven Cottage and is seeking a new club with urgency.

UPDATE: Thursday, Dec. 5, at 10:55 a.m. GMT

However, Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen is confident he can persuade the Bulgarian to stay, per Sky Sports:

I've not seen or heard what he's said, but if anyone knows Dimitar it's me.

Look at that performance tonight (against Tottenham) and tell me he doesn't want to play for this club.

---End of Update---

Emil Dantchev, the player's guiding force, spoke bluntly about the former Manchester United man's desire to call quits on his time in London, per Sky Sports:

I don't usually speculate as nobody knows what will happen in January but what I can tell you is he (Berbatov) is not happy at Fulham.

He would like, if possible, to find another option.

Despite his reputation for being lazy, Berbatov is likely to attract the attention of many clubs throughout Europe. The Bulgarian's contract expires at the end of the season, suggesting the Cottagers may have to sell him in January to receive compensation for his exit.

Trabzonspor recently confirmed they are interested in bringing Berbatov to the Turkish Super League, per Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.

Quite remarkably, La Liga giants Barcelona have also been touted as a potential destination. Gerardo Martino is rumoured to be looking for an out-and-out striker without needing to spend too heavily, per Ben Jefferson of the Express.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 02:  Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United tackles Dimitar Berbatov of Fulham during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Manchester United at Craven Cottage on November 2, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Lionel Messi has rubbished claims suggesting the 32-year-old could fill in for him at the Camp Nou, reported by Paul Gorst of the Mirror:

It’s not my business to interfere with the club’s transfer decisions but I think it’s impossible for Dimitar to join Barcelona

I haven’t heard the rumour that Berbatov is linked to Barcelona. In fact he is a good player, he has experience in a big team.

After scoring 15 goals in his first season with Fulham, per ESPN FC, Berbatov has quickly slumped toward the disillusioned player who left Old Trafford for the same reason in 2012. He had two goals in 12 appearances this campaign prior to the Tottenham game and has appeared uninterested in helping the team in its battle against relegation.

Meulensteen recently replaced Martin Jol in the Fulham hot seat and it seems he is confident he can convince his one-time United colleague of putting up a fight in Fulham's favour.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09:  Dimitar Berbatov of Fulham competes with Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Fulham at Anfield on November 9, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/G
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Dantchev confirmed no clubs have been in contact yet, per the original Sky Sports report:

"I cannot comment (on whether there has been any approach) but the priority is to find a solution to stay in England," said the agent.

Although Berbatov is a fantastic player when he decides to pick up his feet, his graceful technique and eye for the spectacular doesn't outweigh his lack of effort, a trait emphasised in struggling teams like Fulham.

Barcelona may be linked with his signature, but this move is highly unlikely. Berbatov hasn't shown anywhere near the form or consistency to receive such a prestigious transfer and would be an underwhelming acquisition for La Blaugrana.

The Bulgarian has huge work to do if he is to interest a club of this stature or any Premier League team who may fill his seemingly strict criteria.