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Aug, 22, 2008

Ramos set to hold talks with wantaway Berbatov

Wantaway Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov is set for showdown talk with manager Juande Ramos on Friday ahead of the club's first home game of the season against Sunderland.

The Bulgarian international handed in a transfer request prior to the start of the campaign in order to force through his desired move to Manchester United. That led to him being on the bench at Middlesbrough for the opener and Ramos must now decide whether to use the striker at all this weekend.

Berbatov has been criticised for his attitude after replacing Giovanni Dos Santos in the 65th minute of the 2-1 defeat at the Riverside with many now feeling he is a divisive influence in the dressing room.

The 27-year-old is sure to feel the wrath of the White Hart Lane faithful if he does feature but with just ten days left until the transfer window closes, at least the London club know the speculation cannot continue much longer.

'Tottenham fans are no exception to any others - they support the team and get behind the side,' said Ramos. 'If a player is on form, if he knocks in a couple of goals, then I'm sure anyone who booed him last week will soon be getting behind him and cheering him. That is what it is like.

'While he is still here, he is very much 100 percent a Tottenham player - that is how we consider things. It is not a case of finding a solution to a problem before it occurs.'

One of the problems Spurs face is the limited timescale in which to replace a player who has scored 27 Premier League goals in 63 starts since arriving from Bayer Leverkusen two years ago - especially as they are still to bring in a new face following the sale of Robbie Keane to Liverpool.

With Russian strike duo Andrei Arshavin and Roman Pavlyuchenko now seemingly out of the picture, the north London outfit are now being linked with La Liga stars Diego Forlan and Luis Fabiano.

'We've got a list of targets that we are working very hard on,' Ramos continued. 'Negotiations are tough and sometimes they are even tougher than usual. We know what we are working towards and we know what our objectives are.

'The process of signing players sometimes takes time, but fans should be aware we are trying to strengthen up front and sign a new forward. Quite often these things take time.' Ramos is also in the market for a defender and was close to signing Vedran Corluka from Manchester City before that deal collapsed.

'It's true to say we have one or two areas that we need to look at defensively and maybe solve a few problems at the back,' Ramos added.

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