One of Dimitar Berbatov's advisors has confirmed tentative talks have begun about a move that would see the Manchester United striker return to former club Bayer Leverkusen.
Berbatov, who scored a hat-trick for United in a rare start against Wigan on Monday, spent five seasons at the German club before making the switch to the Premier League with Tottenham in 2006. And one of his representatives, Ivan Dobrinov, has revealed that there is substance to recent reports that the Bundesliga club will attempt to re-sign the Bulgarian striker.
Berbatov's current contract expires in the summer - although United have the option to extend it by a further year if they so choose. If they don't, however, then other clubs will be able to talk with Berbatov about a free transfer at the start of January.
"It's more than a rumour," Dobrinov told Bild, when asked about Leverkusen's interest. "Leverkusen have it on their minds to get Berbatov. "There is contact, but nothing concrete yet. It all depends on United's plans.
"We wait until January 2. Until then, United have the option but if that does not happen then Berbatov would be a free transfer in the summer.
"The player has never forgotten Leverkusen, the club is still very dear to him. Furthermore, he has a good relationship with the leadership at Bayer."
Leverkusen chief executive Wolfgang Holzhauser also acknowledged that tentative talks had taken place, although he noted a move may not be possible if United want to keep the striker.
"I would even say that the contact is friendly. But there is certainly nothing concrete at the moment," Holzhauser said. "I also read that Manchester United would like to extend his contract."