Sport Soccer

Friday 15 December 2017

Berbatov puts United career first as he quits Bulgaria

Mark Ogden

DIMITAR BERBATOV has admitted he expects Manchester United to sign a striker this summer, but the Bulgarian has vowed to fight for his future at the club after announcing his retirement from international football.

Berbatov's decision to end his involvement with Bulgaria ensures he will not face England in the opening Euro 2012 qualifier at Wembley in September.

Whether the £30.75m forward is still a United player by that stage is open to debate, however, with the 29 year-old's position at Old Trafford under threat following his failure to produce his best form at the club since his arrival from Tottenham in September 2008.

Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal is keen to take Berbatov to the Allianz Arena and the German champions could tempt United with a bid in the region of £15m. But Berbatov insists he remains determined to succeed at United after scoring just 12 goals in all competitions this season.

He said: "I'm sure United will buy a new striker, but I am there and that's important. I will try to fulfil my contract because where would I go after United? I have reached the top with them.

"I do not know about interest from other clubs and I have had no meetings because I am a Manchester United player.

"In my two years, things could have been better, but they could have been worse too. I have had my moments.

"I have won the championship and the Carling Cup, but people had great expectations for the money it cost to sign me. We do not know what will happen in the third year.

"I might not seem happy, but I can't grin like an idiot on the field. I do not show any emotions, but I'm really happy because I am with the biggest team in the world."

Nasko Sirakov, the director of Bulgaria's national team, confirmed that Berbatov informed him of his decision to retire from international football in March. But Berbatov, who has been plagued by a persistent knee problem since the autumn, insists he was not pressurised into making the decision by United manager Alex Ferguson.

Berbatov said: "I didn't discuss my decision with Alex, but you know when to say 'enough' and I have had ailments for several months. I feel tired.

"I took this decision on my own and I started thinking about my future with the national team more than a month ago." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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