With first-team opportunities at Manchester United looking limited for Dimitar Berbatov again this season, West Ham are set to launch an audacious bid to land the Bulgarian.
United took up the option of extending Berbatov’s contract by a year this summer, in the hope of securing a fee for the man they paid £30.75million for four years ago.
However, West Ham are now set to test the Old Trafford club’s resolve, by attempting to land the classy forward initially on a loan basis, with a view to eventually completing a permanent move.
Sam Allardyce, linked this week with Liverpool striker Andy Carroll, is desperate to bolster his attacking options, and would be delighted to welcome a player of Berbatov’s pedigree into his newly-promoted squad.
With Carroll looking likely to return to Newcastle, Berbatov is thought to have become the Hammers’ chief target, and Allardyce is hopeful that a return to East London will prove tempting for the ex-Tottenham forward.
Now 31, Berbatov has outlined a desire to leave Old Trafford, with his lowly position in the United pecking order the reason cited.
He wrote on his Facebook page over the weekend, “The truth is, I love this club, but I am not going to be useful to anyone if I am not playing. And I want to play, I want to help.
“But for unknown reasons it’s not going to happen, or my chances will be limited, so it’s better for everyone if we say goodbye.”
Berbatov’s public declaration could trigger transfer activity, with Sir Alex Ferguson notoriously reluctant to keep unhappy players on his books in Manchester.
Therefore, the striker, who shared the Premier League Golden Boot award in 2010/2011, could have his wish granted sooner rather than later.
With his intent to quit now publicised too, West Ham’s chances of completing an initial loan deal appear greater, despite United preferring a permanent exit for their record signing.