Meulensteen hints at Berbatov January departure

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The last thing a side battling the drop needs to hear heading into Christmas is that their best player may be abandoning ship, so if you’re a Fulham fan you might want to look away now.

For the latest quotes from Rene Meulensteen, said before Fulham’s crucial win over Aston Villa on Sunday, suggest that the new Dutch boss has already resigned himself to losing his most gifted player in the January transfer window.

Following reports of Berbatov’s unhappiness at Craven Cottage, Meulensteen was not exactly adamant that the Bulgarian would be remaining in south west London to scrap it out with his teammates:

“I will never stand in the way of people’s ambitions. He is an immense player that I think any manager would want in his team – especially me.”

Berbatov may have only scored two league goals all season – including a penalty in Sunday’s 2-0 home win – but in a campaign where Fulham have notched 14 times, he remains their main attacking threat and chief creative spark.

But with his new manager suggesting that he’ll make no attempt to block any move, there will be no shortage of takers, in England and abroad.

The 32-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season, another reason why Fulham may well look to cash in this January, with a fee of £3m-£5 expected to be sought.

At such a snip, expect Arsenal to register their interest, with Wenger keen to recruit proven Premier League talent to support Olivier Giroud, while Berbatov’s former club Spurs have also been linked, as they seek to improve their form in front of goal.

Fulham are currently 7/10 third favourites to go down, odds that will surely shorten should they fail to keep hold of Berbatov in January. It leaves no doubt as to what will be on Fulham fans’ Christmas list this year.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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