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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov, 7, 2007

Ramos clears Berbatov for Tottenham exit

Tottenham boss Juande Ramos will not attempt to block a transfer for Dimitar Berbatov if the striker wants to leave White Hart Lane in the January transfer window. Berbatov's agent was in London his week to talk with sporting director Damien Comolli and the 26-year-old's father has since suggested the Bulgaria international is unsettled. Comolli and chairman Daniel Levy are expected to have the final say on whether he would be sold, but Ramos has made it clear he does not want players in his squad who do not want to be there. 'I believe you can't force players to stay in the team if they don't want to,' said the Spaniard. 'It is not good for the team or the player, so I wouldn't stand in anyone's way if they want to leave.' Berbatov is in the squad for the UEFA Cup clash against Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel, with Spurs looking to get off the mark in Group G after losing their opening game to Getafe. The defeat to the Spanish side was Martin Jol's last game as manager, and earlier in that week Berbatov appeared reluctant to warm up as a substitute against Newcastle. That incident and his body language has seen Berbatov criticised for being moody, particularly after Manchester United showed interest this summer but a move never materialised. 'I think he is happy, but that is a question you need to ask him,' Ramos added. 'He is a Spurs player and he needs to help and support the team.' Berbatov has only scored twice this season after impressing in his rookie campaign in the Premier League which earned him a place in the PFA team of the season. His form has been part of Spurs' slump, with Ramos's men struggling towards the bottom of the league. Hapoel have also had a wretched start to the season and have not won in the league yet. 'We still respect Hapoel and it will take a big effort to beat them,' said Ramos. 'We don't take it for granted because of their place at the bottom of the league.' Ramos helped Sevilla win the last two UEFA Cups - beating Spurs on the way last season - but his immediate aim is to get his team winning games before he thinks of adding silverware. 'The team needs a lot of support, with the support we can start winning and building confidence,' he said. 'We believe in the team and think there is a good chance of moving forward in the cup.' Bloomfield Stadium is expected to be only half full for the match, with the city derby against Maccabi on Sunday deemed more important, and Spurs will also have an eye on the weekend clash against Wigan. 'I always think about the next game, Wigan is too far away and I'm thinking about beating Hapoel,' Ramos insisted. Ramos was coaching in the Champions League earlier in the season but is yet to impose the style of Sevilla on his new club. 'You can't exactly copy it because there are two different teams and sets of players,' he said. 'But I'll bring my same philosophy, which is attacking football with lots of opportunities.' He also insisted it is still possible to reach Europe next season through a high finish in the Premier League. 'It is still possible,' he said. Ramos still has limited options in defence, with Anthony Gardner (ankle), Ledley King (knee), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (ankle), Ricardo Rocha (ankle) and Gareth Bale (foot) out.

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