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Aug 12, 2008

Berbatov on brink of £28m move to Old Trafford

Manchester United are believed to be on the brink of signing Tottenham Hotspur striker Dimitar Berbatov.

Spurs have been holding out for a fee in the region of £38million for their star striker, but it is thought they have now reached agreement with the Premier League champions on a £28million deal. Spurs are closing in on a replacement signing and have also been boosted by the form of striker Darren Bent who has hit 13 goals in pre-season.

The Bulgarian has been tracked by United for months and their conduct had angered the White Hart Lane club, who believe the Red Devils were pursuing a public transfer campaign. United were reported to the FA by Spurs but it is likely any deal would see this complaint withdrawn.

Reports suggest the 27-year-old could be a United player by the time the Premier League kicks off this weekend, with some claiming he was at United's Carrington training ground for talks on Tuesday.

Berbatov has made no secret of his desire to move to Old Trafford, something which has frustrated bosses at Spurs who felt he should have shown more loyalty, and he has been criticised for his lack of application since returning from the summer break. It will come as a second blow in a matter of weeks after Robbie Keane insisted to be given permission to move to Liverpool.

Zenit St Petersburg forward Andrei Arshavin and Spartak Moscow star Roman Pavlyuchenko both remain at the top of coach Juande Ramos' wanted list, and the sale of Berbatov could free up enough funds for the Russian strike pair to be reunited in north London. West Ham United striker Dean Ashton - reportedly told to shed pounds by England coach Fabio Capello - has also been tracked, but a move for David Villa would appear to be doomed to failure.

Berbatov has scored 27 Premier League goals in 63 starts since moving from Bayer Leverkusen but his time at the club has been dogged by transfer rumours and questions over his commitment.

United, meanwhile, have apparently failed with a bid for Valencia's attacking midfielder David Silva - according to the player's agent.

'Manchester United made an offer for David Silva, but this has been turned down by Valencia,' Julio Llorente said. 'Silva doesn't want to play in England because he is happy at Valencia.

'His family are settled and if he was to move it would only be to another Spanish club, like Real Madrid or Barcelona. David Silva will start the new season at Valencia.'

Valencia president Vicente Soriano echoed the sentiment, insisting to Spanish sports tabloid, Marca: 'I can assure you that Villa and Silva will continue this season at Valencia.'

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