Does the potential signing of Mirko Vucinic finally spell the end of Dimitar Berbatov’s United career?
Despite Sir Alex Ferguson recently stating that he did not forecast any further summer arrivals at Manchester United until after the Community Shield on August 7th, Roma striker Mirko Vucinic’s agent has revealed that he met with the Premier League champions on Monday to discuss a transfer for his client. With the Montenegro international looking for a move away from the Stadio Olimpico, does this finally spell the end for Dimitar Berbatov?
The former Spurs attacker has had an up and down time at Old Trafford, with a slow start to his time at the club corrected by finishing top scorer in the Premier League in 2010-11. Despite this, the Bulgarian was left out of the matchday squad for the Champions League final defeat to Barcelona, and fellow fringe player Michael Owen has extended his deal at the club.
The 30-year-old is a mercurial talent no doubt, but his questionable attitude and high opinion of himself has been rumoured to have rubbed Fergie up the wrong way. With Javier Fernandez and Wayne Rooney assured starters when available, it appears that Berba is fourth in the pecking order, which will not suit the striker, who is used to being in the limelight.
United will more than likely be keen to sell to recuperate some of the expenditure of bringing David de Gea, Phil Jones and Ashley Young to the club, and a sulking Berbatov threatens to impact upon the positive team morale at Carrington. Tottenham are thought to be keen to take the eastern European back to White Hart Lane, whilst Juventus, Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich have all been linked to the player, with the bookmakers making their football betting tips on the Bulgarian’s potential destination.
As potent as United’s first choice strike pairing are, with Michael Owen not the force that he once was, Sir Alex will look to reinforce before letting Berbatov leave. Alessandro Lucci, Vucinic’s agent revealed that he has met with the English club, and a deal is thought to be in the offing.
The 27-year-old will have first caught Sir Alex’s eye when he scored against United in the Champions League back in April 2007, and it true that Vucinic has quality, pace and an assurance on the ball to rival most in Serie A, when he is firing on all cylinders. Despite this, the Giallorssi fans have turned on the Montenegrin slightly, as he lost form and confidence towards the end of last season, missing chances in big games that saw Roma have a disappointing season. With new coach Luis Enrique in place, and the signings of attackers Erik Lamela and Bojan Krkic, Vucinic looks certain to leave the Italian capital.
A surprise signing for United? Certainly, given the hype surrounding Romelu Lukaku, Giuseppe Rossi and a host of other attackers at the moment, a move for Vucinic would be unexpected. However, it looks like the English champions are looking to bolster their frontline, which will allow their sultry Bulgarian Berbatov to search for a new club.
Gareth McKnight is a columnist for the football blog Soccerlens.com.