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Page last updated at 09:05 GMT, Friday, 21 May 2010 10:05 UK

Berbatov not for sale, says Man Utd boss Ferguson

Dimitar Berbatov
Berbatov has endured a tough season with Manchester United and Bulgaria

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted the club have no intention of selling striker Dimitar Berbatov this summer.

The 29-year-old has struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford following his £30.75m move from Tottenham in August 2008, scoring only 26 goals since then.

But Ferguson says he has no plans to offload the Bulgarian.

"No, no, definitely not," he said. "He is a fantastic footballer and he will be with us next year."

Ferguson dismissed speculation that Berbatov could be moved on, with the likes of Bayern Munich, AC Milan and Spurs reportedly interested, claiming it was run-of-the-mill gossip.

"That's a problem with a club like United - there's expectation and the media attention is always there," added the Scot.

"There's speculation every year - some summers I'm signing 100 players. You've got to live with that sort of media hype about the club.

"There's been a bit about Berbatov in terms of his future but we know he's a good player."

Ferguson's comments will be a welcome reassurance for Berbatov who last week vowed he would "fight to stay" at Old Trafford.


Upon announcing his international retirement, Berbatov said: "I am going nowhere.

"I have arrived where I wanted to be, I have reached the summit."

Berbatov has come under fire this season from fans critical of his work-rate and profligacy in front of goal.

He did not start a single match in the Champions League knockout stages before United were knocked out by Bayern Munich in the last eight.

Critics have also suggested United lost the Premier League title to Chelsea in part because of his failure to act as an effective replacement for Wayne Rooney during the England striker's injury absence.

Berbatov, though, insisted he is determined to stay, adding: "United is the biggest team and I will fight to stay there until the end of my contract."

His current deal expires in two seasons' time in 2012.

While the Bulgarian appears content to shrug off criticism for his domestic performances, similar analysis of his international performances have played their part in his decision to quit the national team.

"I have decided to step down from the national team, starting today," he told a press conference in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, adding he wanted "to give younger players the opportunity to step out from my shadow".

Berbatov, Bulgaria's captain for the last three years, scored 48 goals in 74 international appearances and is the nation's all-time leading scorer.

But he said he was "discouraged" by Bulgaria's failure to qualify for the upcoming World Cup in South Africa, adding: "At times I feel tired, even exhausted by the national team."

It means the front man's appearance in the 2-0 defeat in Poland in March was his last at international level.

Another star player - Dimitar Ivanov - also announced his decision to quit international football following that game in Warsaw.

Bulgaria have been drawn in the same Euro 2012 qualifying group as England and Wales.

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see also
Owen on schedule for pre-season
13 May 10 |  Man Utd
Ferguson vows to win back title
09 May 10 |  Man Utd
Man Utd 4-0 Stoke City
09 May 10 |  Premier League
Ferguson 'still trusts' Berbatov
09 Apr 10 |  Man Utd
Man Utd to sign striker Hernandez
08 Apr 10 |  Man Utd
Man Utd complete Berbatov switch
01 Sep 08 |  Man Utd

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