Tottenham Hotspur: Could Dimitar Berbatov Really Return to White Hart Lane?

Sean BabcockCorrespondent IIJuly 10, 2011

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 04:  Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United lines up prior to the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Manchester United and Schalke at Old Trafford on May 4, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Could Dimitar Berbatov be on his way back to White Hart Lane?

The answer is not quite as simple as the question, and it may be an entirely ridiculous one to ask in the first place. And yet, the latest transfer gossip is heavily centered around the idea of last season's Golden Boot winner making a return to North London.

First, there was the report that Manchester United may have a very tantalizing offer in the works for Luka Modric: one that would include the Bulgarian striker, plus defender Johnny Evans and £10-12 million as a trade-off for Tottenham's midfielder, who United have been closely eyeing to potentially replace the retired Paul Scholes.

This suggestion, however, came the day after breaking news emerged of a meeting between Modric and club chairman Daniel Levy in which an agreement was seemingly finalized to end all talk of any possibility of Modric leaving the club.

Then, on Saturday, a similar rumor surfaced, this time suggesting that Tottenham was preparing a £22 million bid for Berbatov and Evans in an effort to buy the pair outright without losing Modric in the process.

With all questions of legitimacy aside, these rumors certainly raise a very important question that must be addressed before moving forward: could Berbatov really play for the Spurs again? What exactly would the reaction be from players and fans?

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To say that Berbatov's exodus from North London in 2008 left a lot of ruffled feathers and negative sentiments would be an understatement. To fans, it very much appeared as though Berbatov engineered his own exit and was quick to abandon the club as soon as the softest whispers of United's interest were uttered.

The deal was finalized on the final day of the 2008 summer transfer season, and the animosity felt by many loyal supporters has never entirely subsided.

The Bulgarian never quite reached his full potential with United until the 2010-11 campaign, during which he led the league in goals scored and was a very key element to their attacking game, particularly in the first half of the season.

However, the striker has fallen out of favor with the Manchester side, after the quick play and finishing ability of Javier Hernandez earned the young Mexican a starting spot on the squad instead.

But that is hardly indicative of Berbatov's on-field capabilities. All ill-feelings aside, the man can score goals. And with a Tottenham midfield looking stronger than ever, you can bet that he would receive better balls in the box and much more mouth-watering scoring opportunities than his last stay at White Hart Lane.

And let's not forget that the one thing the Spurs need more than anything right now is somebody who can find the back of the net.

With Manchester United already having recorded well over £50 million in purchases this transfer season, they seem prepared to start selling. And the out-of-favor striker could be first on that list. Whether or not rumors suggesting that such a sale could be made to Tottenham in the coming weeks are at all credible is yet to be seen, but fans would surely have very mixed reactions to the initial suggestion.

The question is: How forgiving would North London be if Berbatov really did make the unlikely return to Tottenham? And while it is, again, probably ridiculous and irrelevant in the first place, it could still prove to be one that every Spurs fan will have to ask themselves in the weeks to come.

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