Sir Alex Ferguson is admitting Dimitar Berbatov’s ‘difficult’ season is a strong reason for his desire to leave Manchester United.
The 31-year-old Bulgarian’s performance in the Reds’ 1-0 win over AmaZulu in Durban was praised by Sir Alex – after Berbatov set up Federico Macheda’s goal.
But despite embarking on United’s pre-season summer tour, the striker is still intent on leaving after struggling to secure a regular place in the starting line up.
“I don’t need to herald Dimitar’s abilities,” Ferguson said. “He’s a fantastic talent. He didn’t get the amount of football he wanted last season.
“It’s difficult for him at his age to accept second place in the forward line.
“The likes of Rooney, Chicharito and Welbeck were all in front of him last season. It’s been difficult. But in fairness to him today he applied himself well and did very well with the first goal.”
Ferguson added: “The boy obviously wants to leave. That’s a different matter. I’m easy about it.
“If he stays, I’ll be happy. If somebody comes in for him and Dimitar wants to leave, we’ll assess it.”
Berbatov cost £30million when he signed from Tottenham four years ago and was the Premier League’s joint top scorer in the 2010/11 season.
But he only made 12 league appearances last campaign, netting seven times, and Turkish club Galatasaray have expressed an interest in signing the forward.
Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa made his first appearance in a United shirt after coming on as a substitute – but it took a while for his change to be made.
“I never thought the boy was going to come on!” said Sir Alex. “He must have been standing on the touchline for 10 minutes.
“The ball never seemed to go out when we wanted it to! He only came on because of Chicharito having cramp. But I think he’ll probably start on Saturday.”