Date:22nd June 2011 at 1:50pm
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After being named the joint top scorer in the Premiership last season with 20 goals, you may have thought that Dimitar Berbatov should have cemented his place in the United side for next season.

But with the emergence of Javier Hernandez and the shock omission of Berbatov from the Champions League final, what does the future hold for the Bulgarian at Old Trafford?

After his best season in a United shirt, which included some excellent performances, including the hat-trick against Liverpool and the 5 goals in the 7-1 rout of Blackburn, it looked like the Bulgarian had found his stride in the team, after two years of inconsistency an since he joined United from Spurs in 2008.

Last season for Berbatov was a season of two halves. In the first part, the 30 year old could do no wrong, but in the second half and the “business” end of the season, he was nowhere to be seen, having been supplanted by Hernandez, who was busy flourishing and forming a deadly partnership with Wayne Rooney.

There is no doubting Berbatov’s quality; I think he is an excellent player, and one of the most technically gifted players at the club. His overhead kick against Liverpool summed him up for me, and proved that he can perform the spectacular, just like Eric Cantona back in the day.

The problem often raised with Berbatov is that he doesn’t fit in with United’s style of play. We all know that the Bulgarian prefers to play deep as a second striker, the same position as Rooney operates in.

The reason that Rooney and Chicarito work so well is that the Mexican is an out-and-out striker and a poacher, whereas Rooney and Berbatov seem to clash and can never play well at the same time, it’s always one or the other, as when Berbatov was performing well and scoring goals in the first half of the season, Rooney was struggling, and vice-versa at the end of the season.

The only reason the speculation around Berbatov’s future is surfacing is because of his surprise omission from the Champions League final. While it probably didn’t make any difference, as United would likely not have beaten Barcelona even if Berbatov had featured, seeing as he failed to score in the Champions League last season, it didn’t say much about Sir Alex’s faith in the striker to completely omit him from the squad.

Today, a number of clubs have been linked with a move for Berbatov, with PSG reported to be making a £10 million bid, and Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen and AC Milan are rumoured to be interested in the Bulgarian, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Berbatov’s agent has said that the striker has no intention to leave United, saying the striker wants to sign a new deal. Emil Dantchev said,

“After we speak to Manchester United, we will know more but now he is very happy to be a Manchester United player.”

There are arguments for and against Berbatov remaining at Old Trafford. Firstly, Berbatov is arguably now United’s most technically gifted player after the retirement of Paul Scholes and if he is happy to be third choice striker behind Rooney and Chicarito, there is no reason to sell as 20-goal a season strikers are hard to come by. It wouldn’t make sense unless United have a ready-made replacement in mind.

The problem with the Berbatov situation is that he only has a year left on his contract. United still haven’t exercised the option to extend his contract and no talks have taken place over a new deal.  Berbatov is 30 now, and if United don’t intend to offer the Bulgarian a new contract, is it worth cashing in now and recouping some money instead of letting him walk away for nothing next summer?

Obviously United will not be able to recoup the £30.75 million they spent on Berbatov three years ago, as no team will want to pay that much for a player of his age but to lose him for the quoted £10m fee would make any possible sale even worse.

If we were to sell him something closer to £15 million would be preferable but even then what player of similar quality would they be able to sign for that amount?

The established strikers with Champions League experience, the likes of David Villa, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto’o would cost much more than £15 million, as would up-and-coming talents like Neymar and Romelu Lukaku. United will want someone to come in and contribute right away if they sell Berbatov, and with other areas of the team needing strengthening, it’s unlikely that they would want to spend a fortune on another striker that may not even start for the side.

Even though it looks like Berbatov will have to be content with backing up Rooney and Hernandez next season, I think he can play an important role for United next season. Berbatov’s ability to produce moments of magic and the spectacular make him a valuable asset, and I think United should do their utmost to try and keep the Bulgarian at Old Trafford beyond next season.

What do you think – should United offer Berbatov a new contract or sell him this summer?


30 responses to “Manchester United face a Berbatov dilemma”

  1. Lexxy says:

    You lots will not last one minute @ R O M. What’s man u?. FFs its Man United. And ‘magyar’ said chico is empty net specialist. Where u blind @ stoke city away and everton at home. You were sleeping right?

  2. david says:


  3. alan says:

    Please keep Berbatov – you can’t find anyone even close to his quality for 10-15 mil. He was great this season – why sell him now that he is showing his best!

  4. mattt mellor says:

    if they do let him go he’s got to be replaced, simple as that.
    wellbeck is ok but not anywhere near consitent enough to be challenging rooney,hernandez,berba or even owen for that matter.
    same problem with cleverly.we must make the key signings this year, jones was a nice bonus, young will do well, and hopefully we’ll get de gea.
    the big problem is replacing scholes and with modric seemingly off to chelsea and sniejder staying put our options are fast runnung out.

  5. Leo Nasution says:

    wtf with fucking glazer bastard, you totaly suck!!!!!
    pls renew my berba contract, sucker!!!!!
    and don’t put him in any fucking stupid and idiot deal sucker!!!!!

  6. Ryan says:

    Sell him. Get as much as you can before contract runs out. take the money and get the best damn CM you can find. Promote welbeck and fingers crossed him and owen can do a job as the 3rd /4th striker. CM is where all the resources should go. and of course get that keeper done. Keep Nani, so between him, young, and valencia we are good. Like berba, but lets be honest, very skillful and had a great season, but rooney and hernandez work best, anyone can see that. Rooney is happy, playing better, and is the key to it all

    • david says:

      the problem is, there are no big teams willing to buy him. Bayern and inter looked at him but made no offers. Onl yPSG has made an offer for 10-12. not a bad price but small for the EPl top scorer. The reason no one wants him is yes he is the joint golden boot winner, but almost half his goals cam in two games. He is too unpredicatable in his goal scoring. SAF cannot depend on him.

      I appreciate his services and would any decision he makes.

  7. Salam says:

    I think Berba shld go so we can be able to bring in Welbeck n Macheda. Since he won’t be given a new contract, he will be leaving next year if he doesn’t now. We must think abt the future n so keeping Welbeck n Macheda and giving them playing tym so they gel with the team is what we shld do.

  8. Steve says:

    Pls keep babatov, giv him nw contract, giv him play time in d league, y roney more time in Cl. Switch dem both frequently, 2 kpt form and avoid tiredness.

  9. Abidi says:

    One of the reason I excited to watch ManU games was Dimitar Berbatov. His technic and skill are sublime. At few occassions his technic seems like Zidane but his main problem is he is unable to perform consistently as we all known.

    In my opion, Sir Alex already fed up with him after gave him chances more over 2 years to show what he have. Become a Man United player is not all about skill and flashy tricks but it also about character and winning attitude. I think what made Sir Alex throw a towel on him was when he missed 2 golden chances to score in FA Cup final against Man City which was probably could make Man United a champion. Since then he lost the manager faith on his.

  10. krassy says: