Manchester United Transfer News: Is Dimitar Berbatov Making a Move to West Ham?

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIJuly 16, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 19: Dimatar Berbatov of Manchester United celebrates scoring the winning goal in the dying minutes during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford on March 19, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Fresh off his Facebook rant against his current club Manchester United, Dimitar Berbatov could still be set for a departure from Old Trafford, with West Ham rumored to be interested in the striker.

What the future holds for Berbatov is something nobody knows, with conflicting stories about the 31-year-old emerging all the time.

Originally, when the summer transfer window opened, it was assumed that Berbatov would find another club for next season and that United would let him go—given the right transfer fee—even though he had another year left on his contract.

The striker's fall in the pecking order at Old Trafford had seen him move to fourth behind Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez; and with the club bringing in new attacking talent such as Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund and Nick Powell from Crewe Alexandra, Berbatov's playing time was always going to be limited.

Hence, he would find another club in order to play first-team football.

However, it then emerged that Berbatov might not be moving on from Manchester United when no concrete offers came in for the 31-year-old.

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It was believed that the Bulgarian wanted to remain at Old Trafford and see out the remainder of his contract—even if that meant being a benchwarmer—because he won't receive the wages he's currently getting at another club.

Sir Alex Ferguson defended the way he managed Berbatov last season, saying he didn't get treated unfairly and that he would join the Red Devils on their preseason tour to South Africa and China.

Time for our third twist then—after the striker's future finally seemed to have some resolution, which saw Berbatov take to Facebook to express his anger at the situation. Of particular mention was the fact he could be available for only £5 million and that he wants to leave United if it means playing first-team football.

That was bound to gather some interest then from other clubs, who for £5 million, could surely use a striker with the class and proven calibre of Berbatov. After all, he is (or was) one of United's best strikers since his arrival in 2008 for £30 million.

So cue the interest then from, West Ham?

Yup. That's right. The recently promoted West Ham are rumored to be interested in signing the Bulgarian striker on loan this season—rescuing him from his frustration circumstance at Old Trafford and giving him the first-team football that he craves.

Per the Daily Mirror:

West Ham have made an audacious bid to rescue Dimitar Berbatov from his Manchester United hell.

The promoted Hammers have moved for the Bulgarian hitman as it appears Newcastle are set to win the race for another of their targets, Liverpool and England striker Andy Carroll.

Berbatov, 31, has made public his desperation to quit the Reds in search of regular first-team football next season.

But United have taken out an option to extend his contract by another 12 months in the hope of landing a fee for the striker of around £5million.

The east Londoners want to hand Berbatov a chance to return to London, where he made his name with Tottenham, on loan – at least initially – whereas the deposed champions are looking for a sale.

There is no doubting the attacking talent of Berbatov, and it is therefore completely understandable that a smaller club like West Ham would be very, very interested in picking up an out-of-favor striker.

The Bulgarian netted 26 goals in his first two seasons at Old Trafford and then scored 20 goals in his third—sharing the English Premier League Golden Boot Award with Carlos Tevez.

He is unlikely to receive any substantial playing time this season barring injury to Rooney, Welbeck or Hernandez, and could well move on from Old Trafford if the right opportunity comes along.

Which at the moment, could be any opportunity at all.

Where will Dimitar Berbatov end up next season?

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