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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 18, 2008

Fergie confident of landing 'impressive' Berbatov

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson fully expects to prise striker Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham by the end of the summer.

Ferguson has revealed the Premier League champions have already made an offer for the Bulgarian who scored 23 times for the Londoners last season.

The Scot is confident the former Bayer Leverkusen dangerman can add a new element to an already deadly United attack and finally turn attention away from the protracted Cristiano Ronaldo transfer saga.

'We have made Tottenham an offer on Berbatov and we have good expectations that this deal will go through,' Ferguson told The Sun.

'Berbatov has been impressive during a long time and would be a great addition to our attack.'

While Ferguson admits there are still issues to be resolved with Spurs, including the price of the £20million-plus striker, he is happy to bide his time to ensure a successful pursuit.

'I think time will work for us more than against us,' said Ferguson, who is with the United squad in South Africa on a pre-season tour.

'We will not stress this situation. We are hoping to have a constructive conversation with Tottenham in the near future.'

Ferguson also spoke of his confidence that Owen Hargreaves will be fully fit for the start of United's title defence against Newcastle on August 17.

Hargreaves has been forced to miss United's pre-season tour of South Africa after suffering a recurrence of the tendonitis problem which first surfaced at the start of last season.

Yet again, the England international felt the problem on the first day of pre-season training, although having solved it with a series of injections last November, at least United know what they are dealing with this time around.

And, while Hargreaves will remain in Manchester for treatment while the majority of his team-mates are on a four-match tour of South Africa and Nigeria, Ferguson is convinced the former Bayern Munich man will be back in action within a fortnight.

'By the time we come back from South Africa, Owen should be okay,' said Ferguson. 'We have certainly not written him off for the start of the season.

'He will have a series of injections in his knee but I am sure he will be fine.'

Ferguson likened the injury to the type Norman Whiteside used to suffer, although given the former Northern Ireland star was forced to retire early from the game, it is perhaps not the best of examples.

'Some people get these things,' he said.

'Norman used to get it. Maybe re-starting training on the firmish grounds brings it on or maybe it is just an inherent problem.'

Louis Saha is having treatment for an injury in France, otherwise Ferguson took the squad he expected to, given Nani, Edwin van der Sar, Patrice Evra and Anderson were all excused following international duty in the summer and Cristiano Ronaldo is still recovering from ankle surgery.

Ferguson's main focus on the African adventure is to assess the development of youngsters such as Jonny Evans and Frazier Campbell as well as the form of Gary Neville.

The England defender is now fully fit after virtually 16 months on the sidelines and ready to scrap with Wes Brown for the right-back berth that had been his own for so long.

'For Gary in particular this trip is very important,' said Ferguson.

'He came through his 45 minutes at Aberdeen on Saturday with no problem at all, which is fantastic news.

'The great thing about Gary is that he has not missed a training session since the last time he came back in April.

'We could have played him at the end of the season but Wes was doing so well.

'His form was so good I didn't want to have doubts in my mind about picking him. Wes had played in every game, so we kept it like that.

'But now, a new season is about to start and Gary will get his chance.'

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune cannot wait to face United in the Vodacom Challenge in Cape Town tomorrow.

At 21 Khune is highly-rated after graduating to the South Africa national side last month.

He believes facing European Cup holders and Premier League champions United will be another invaluable learning experience.

'This is what dreams are made of, ' Khune told www.kaizerchiefs.com.

'As a youngster I dreamed about playing against the best players in the world.

'Now I will be doing just that when we meet Manchester United. It is going to be a great experience for all of us.'

Khune has one major aim - not to concede a goal. But he says that will be easier said that done.

He explained: 'I know I will have a busy afternoon. But I aim to enjoy the 90 minutes.

'Few players get the opportunity to play against the top side in the world and I want to savour the moment.'

After their trip to Cape Town, United will move on to Durban and Pretoria before a flying visit to Nigeria.

They will then return home to face Espanyol, Peterborough and Juventus in a packed five-day spell before the Community Shield clash with Portsmouth at Wembley on August 10.

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