Manchester United last night moved one step closer to prising Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham after managers of both clubs spoke of their transfer aspirations.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is a long-term admirer of the Spurs hitman and confirmed yesterday he had made an offer for a player, believed to be for the Bulgarian.
And the rumour mill gathered pace yesterday when Spurs chief Juande Ramos refused to rule out the prospect of selling Berbatov, or Liverpool target Robbie Keane.
But in order to get their man, United will have to fend off interest from Barcelona, who have turned their attentions to Berbatov after ending talks with Arsenal’s Emmanuel Adebayor.
Ferguson took his United squad on a tour of South Africa and Nigeria yesterday along with chief executive David Gill, leaving club solicitor Maurice Watkins to negotiate the deal over the next fortnight. Before jetting off, Ferguson confirmed: “We have made a bid for one player who would enhance us a great deal.”
United have already tempted Spurs with a £20m offer for Berbatov, although Spurs are hoping for more to finance a move for Blackburn’s David Bentley and Sevilla winger Diego Capel. At the same time, however, Ramos’ other first-choice striker, Keane, continues to be linked with Liverpool, but the boss refuses to be rushed into making any decision.
“We will see what happens there, but we are talking about two very important players,” the Spaniard said.“ For the moment they are with us, but whatever happens the idea is to have a great squad, with the potential to allow us to aim to improve on what we managed last season.
“At Tottenham, we have had a clear philosophy regarding buying and selling for years. The idea is signing young players, promising and talented ones, and if important offers for older players are made, studying it to see what is best.”