Club Focus – Man Utd – Ferguson praises Berbatov while Qatar Holding have reported offer rejected

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson praised Dimtar Berbatov and his improved scoring record after the Bulgarian’s third hat-trick this season helped Manchester United dispose of Birmingham while rumours of a potential takeover by the Qatari royal family continue to circulate. The Bulgarian is the only United player to have broken into double-figures this season having netted 17 times. Ferguson stated that: “Dimitar is realising his ability. The other players sense it too. They are playing their part in playing with him. He has special qualities; I think we are using them.” John O’Shea was also fulsome in his praise for the striker. The Irishman claimed that “Dimitar is an amazing talent. We just have to supply him because nine times out of 10 he will score.”

Other members of the squad, most notably Wayne Rooney, have been criticised for a lack of goals. However despite accusations that they have not been at their best, Manchester United are joint top scorers along with Arsenal having played a game less and have only dropped two points at Old Trafford this season.

With the return of Antonio Valencia scheduled for the end of the month and the possible recall of Tom Cleverly from Wigan, it looks increasingly unlikely that Ferguson will enter the transfer market for any attacking talent before it closes. Federico Macheda and Danny Welbeck are also due to return at the end of the season after their respective loan spells and Ferguson has been emphatic that the two youngsters have futures at Old Trafford. Valencia struck up a wonderful partnership with Rooney last season and his crossing was a major reason that the England striker scored so many headed goals. Ferguson will be hoping that his return helps Rooney find his scoring boots again.

Meanwhile there have been reports that a consortium called Qatar Holding, which is owned by the royal family, made an offer to buy the club shortly after Qatar won the World Cup bid. The company is headed up by Sheik Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al Thani, Prime Minister of Qatar. However, Manchester United released an official statement denying any offer or contact and maintained its position that the club is not for sale. The offer was believed to be around £1.5bn which falls significantly short of the Glazers £2bn valuation.

The deal could be profitable for both sides. The Glazer family has been attacked for loading debt on to the club resulting in crippling interest payments. They might consider selling up their share if they receive a large enough offer while Qatar is seeking to raise its profile ahead of the 2022 World Cup. The hope is that owning Manchester United will increase Qatar’s reputation as a footballing country as Abu Dhabi has by purchasing Manchester City.

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