Milan prepare Berbatov bid

AC Milan are preparing to rescue Dimitar Berbatov from his Manchester United nightmare.

The Italian giants have made the United striker, who has struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford, one of their top transfer targets this summer. UK understands that Milan's top brass have drawn up a shortlist of players they want to beef up a squad that has underachieved this season, and one of their priorities is signing a world-class front man who can play with his back to goal.

Berbatov is viewed as a replacement for Dutchman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who has scored just seven goals since his summer switch from Real Madrid.

Milan like Berbatov and are confident they can get him, an insider said. He has not been playing regularly at United and it is possible he could be available.

Everyone knows he is a top player and a lot of clubs will be viewing his situation with interest.

Sources say the Rossoneri would be unwilling to pay more than half the £30.5 million that United paid when they bought the 29-year-old from Tottenham Hotspur in the final minutes of the 2008 summer transfer window.

Publicly, Berbatov has said that he would like to stay at Old Trafford, but privately it is believed he is willing to listen to offers.

Although the Bulgarianís record of 26 goals from 62 United starts is not unimpressive, he has rarely been given the nod by Sir Alex Ferguson in the marquee fixtures.

The only game he has started against Unitedís big-four rivals this season was the Premier League defeat at home to Chelsea and, in the Champions League, Ferguson has also preferred to play Wayne Rooney alone up front.

Indeed, the United boss opted for a half-fit Rooney against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final second leg rather than risk Berbatov.

In Unitedís 7-2 aggregate win over Milan in the Champions League, Berbatov was restricted to just 24 minutes as a substitute over the two legs.

Although the future of Milan coach Leonardo is uncertain after a campaign in which the club have not figured in the title race - they are seven points behind leaders Roma in third place - the 17-times Serie A champions and seven-times Champions League winners are already drawing up their main transfer targets.

Huntelaar is not the only Milan forward who has struggled to score regularly this season.

The clubís top scorer is Italian international Marco Borriello with 15 goals, including five in their last four games, followed by Brazilian duo Alexandre Pato (14) and Ronaldinho (12).

Date Published: 19 April 2010

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To be a striker at United you have to be able to score big, important goals, as we are a club aiming to win things every season. Berbatov hasn't scored a single BIG goal in two years at the club. That is his biggest downfall.

- Menace

He got 2 against Aalborg and 2 against Celtic they're his only goals for United in the Champions League those two teams are not superior then Uefa Cup sides. You cant base everything on league goals either fair enough he has 12 this season in the Premier League but he hasn't scored in any other competition. People can see his link up play for the goals but the fact is that just because he may have put Valencia through 4 or 5 times this season to put the final ball in for a goal thats still not enough. It's not a big thing that he does't sprint back to make tackles his problem is that he'll put a great ball through and then stand and admire his pass instead of bursting his arse to get himself into the box and trying to get on the end of the move to finish it off.

- Munsterman

Put it another way, is he good value compared to, let's say, Torres?

- Oli

I'm in two minds about Berbatov, though increasingly of the view that his face doesn't quite fit. I would say the direct assists for Rooney statistic is slightly misleading though, because I can remember a reasonable number of goals Rooney has scored from Valencia's crosses which have come as a result of excellent link-up play by Berbatov. That might sound a bit weak, and he's not exactly setting the heather on fire admittedly, but I don't think we're talking about Gary Birtles here. Other strikers - Cole, Sheringham - took a while to settle at United, so it is conceivable he could stay and become more productive. Admittedly it is looking more likely that we will cut our losses, but you never know.

- Neil

I really cannot believe some of the comments on here about Berbatov. Everybody is anti-Berbatov because they constantly compare him to Rooney and look at his performances when playing as a lone striker. Unfortunately for Berbatov, Ferguson's decided that he wants to play one up front. If next season he decides that he wants to play with two strikers, which he has always preferred to do before now, Berbatov would be the perfect partner for Rooney, coming deep, linking up play and scoring a few goals. If you look back at some of the goals he's scored over the last two years and how important some of them have been, you should realise that he hasn't been the 'flop' everybody bangs on about! It seems that every other week you read in the papers people saying that he's just played his best game for United but everybody fails to take note. Instead people look at Rooney's goals and see that Berbatov doesn't run around all over the place and assume that he's lazy. He's not lazy, he's just totally misunderstood by the majority of United fans who miss seeing Tevez sprinting back towards the United goal to put in a tackle that gives away a throw. I'd hate to see Berbatov leave this summer and think there's plenty of room for both him and Rooney in the United team.

- Mark

I honestly think it'll be a good move for him. The Italian league is much slower and would definitely suit his style and I think he'd be a success there. If we can get £12-£15m for him then I think he'll be off in the summer (assuming the rumours about Milan are true). Sure he was singing the praises of Milan when we met them in the Champions League about how he'd always liked them growing up so think he'd jump at the chance too.

- Dave

^Well, if that happens and Berba is on his bike...then we're looking at Rooney, Owen, Javier Hernandez and whoever else Fergie has in mind as our fourth 'main' striker.

- Geoff

I will be surprised if we sell Wellbeck. Owen will be an interesting one, Its injury rather than poor performance that has affected his season. I reckon he might get one more year depending on who we can afford in the summer. Berbatov looks like he will go as the owners can probably still recoup at least half of his initial transfer fee. Veron all over again. If Macheda is loaned then surely Diouf will be as well? This season has shown that we can't depend on young, inexperienced strikers. One things for sure, Fergie has got some work to do over the summer to sort out our striking options if he wants four quality forwards.

- Menace

berbatov, owen and probably wellbeck are gone. king will be loaned as will macheda. that leaves rooney, diouf, hernandez? and ??????

- letrip

Arguably the fact that we regularly play with one striker means we could get away with having three strikers - especially if they were all very good. On paper, Rooney, Berbatov and Owen with youngsters wouldn't be bad but in reality, only Rooney is really suited to playing that lone striker role. It is difficult to rely too much on Macheda (who could be great, or could be a complete nonentity depending on his attitude and development), Diouf or even the new Mexican lad. What we need is someone good enough that we don't go into every game dreading an injury to Rooney - someone with strength, mobility, good movement and the ability to score 15-20 goals a season. A Louis Saha without the injury problems would be ideal. But I don't see us splashing out cash on a new striker to fit that bill under the current regime.

- Neil