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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 7, 2008

Berbatov hits out at 'absurd' transfer speculation

SOFIA, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur striker Dimitar Berbatov says speculation over his future is becoming absurd after his agent hinted that he could move in the January transfer window.

'It's getting absurd,' the 26-year-old told Bulgarian Nova TV. 'I'm fed up of seeing my name in the papers all the time. I think the papers went too far.

'It's obvious that the speculation will continue to the end but I wish the press would leave me alone. I just want to play my game.

'The worst thing is that I see 'my' quotes which I've never said and it's something that makes me feel bad.'

Both Chelsea and champions Manchester United have been linked with a move for the prolific marksman who has scored six goals in his last three matches for Tottenham.

Last month his agent Emil Dantchev was quoted as saying he had spoken to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy about Berbatov being allowed to move on.

'Fans must understand that Dimitar is 27 next month and time is running out for him to play for a club that can match his ambition,' Dantchev told The Sun.

Berbatov, a huge favourite with the Tottenham fans after a fine opening season with the club last year following a £10.9 million move from Bayer Leverkusen, has tried to play down the speculation.

'Such hysteria seems to me stupid, I'm not worth so much money,' he said. 'I'm happy at the moment, we'll see what will happen. I know I can win trophies with Spurs.

'We (Spurs) are working to correct our mistakes and I think (coach) Juande Ramos is the man who can change things.

'He's very good as a man and as an expert, he can see details which are hidden from other people's view.'

Berbatov scored 23 goals for Tottenham last season and has bagged another 13 this season despite a slow start.

Berbatov scored twice against Reading at the weekend but picked up a slight ankle knock and will need to be assessed before Wednesday's clash at the Emirates Stadium.

Spurs skipper Ledley King believes keeping hold of Berbatov will be a sign of the club's ambition.

'It's no surprise he is being linked away but we want to keep hold of our best players,' said the 27-year-old.

'If we want to be moving in the right direction, we need to hold on to him, it's as simple as that.!

King was injured last season when Spurs lost to their rivals at the same stage of the competition despite going 2-0 ahead in the first leg.

'It was one of our biggest disappointments,' said King. 'We are hungry to put that right and we are happy we have got the chance to play them again.

'We have learnt a lot from last season's disappointment and we will be stronger this time around. There are new players in, the manager has changed, but the core of the team is still the same.'

Even with King's recent return from knee surgery, Spurs' defence has looked shaky, with goals from Berbatov and Robbie Keane keeping them afloat.

'It will be a shame if our problems cost us the chance of winning trophies,' King added. 'Having got to the semi-final, we want to go on and win it, but Arsenal can score from anywhere.

'We know that against a side like Arsenal, we can't afford to make many mistakes so that will be in our plans when we go to the Emirates on Wednesday. We will want to stay solid because we know we can score goals.

'We will have to defend a lot better than we did last year if we are to go through.'

Meanwhile, Pascal Chimbonda has revealed his surprise at Spurs being linked with Alan Hutton as well as signing Chris Gunter, who both play in his right-back role.

Chimbonda could still, however, sign a new contract.

'I would be happy to stay if I receive the right contract offer,' he said.

Spurs have confirmed Ben Alnwick will be on loan at Leicester until the end of the season.