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Ramos keen to keep Berbatov as Barca enter race

Tottenham boss Juande Ramos has yet to decide if in-demand striker Dimitar Berbatov will start the first match of the season, and has claimed that he would love to see the player stay at White Hart Lane.

The Bulgarian's proposed move from Tottenham is expected to enter a crucial stage following suggestions that other clubs in Europe besides Manchester United are interested in the striker, with Barcelona reported to be close to making a bid.

United are currently working on a deal for Berbatov and Spurs' belief that Barcelona are also monitoring the 27-year-old could move negotiations along on the eve of the Premier League season.

At the moment, there has been no announcement of a fee being agreed between Spurs and United, and Berbatov has been training in London.

The Bulgaria striker has told officials he wants to leave White Hart Lane and is thought to be just one of the targets United are looking at.

Should the saga drag into the first week of the season, Spurs head coach Juande Ramos will make a late decision on whether Berbatov should feature against Middlesbrough at the Riverside.

'I will wait until the final training session and see how he is in training, that's when I will make a decision on that,' he said.

'He's an excellent pro, he's been working totally independently to anything that might be happening outside the football and any speculation has been dealt by his agent. He's just been getting on with things professionally in training.'

Ramos added: 'If you ask any manager, they always want their best players available - Dimitar is no different.

'He is a great player and is carrying himself superbly well through this and we want him to stay but if it is my personal opinion, I have no preference one way or another - you have to go with what is happening.

'He's our player, he is at our club and he is a fantastic player - it would be great for him to stay.'

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