Dimitar Berbatov set for new contract talks with Manchester United

The Bulgarian striker who has not featured for the Red Devils so far this season has been threatening to run down his £80,000-a-week contract that expires next summer
By Greg Stobart | Northern Correspondent

Manchester United star Dimitar Berbatov is set for talks over a new contract this month, Goal.com has learned.

The Bulgarian striker is out of contract next June and his representatives have not held any conversations about a new deal since negotiations broke down in March.

Berbatov, 30, has been threatening to run down his United deal and leave on a lucrative free transfer at the end of the season.

United executives were ready to sell Berbatov this summer but now accept that the financial realities mean they would be better off if they tie him to a longer term deal. He attracted interest from a number of clubs over the summer, most notably big spending Paris Saint-Germain.

Berbatov, who earns an £80,000 weekly salary, is demanding a two-year extension to his contract on improved terms of £120,000 a week.

United are reluctant to meet his demands as Berbatov has found himself out of favour under Sir Alex Ferguson and has not featured so far this season after missing out on a place in the 18-man squad for the Champions League final defeat to Barcelona in May.

Yet chief executive David Gill is eager to make some sort of return on the club record £30.75 million paid to sign him from Tottenham in 2008 and sees a new deal as a way of protecting the value of one of the club's assets.

Berbatov finished joint top scorer in the Premier League last season with 20 goals but has now found himself behind Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and Michael Owen in the pecking order at Old Trafford.

United first held talks with him over a new deal at the end of last season but downgraded their offer to a one-year rolling deal before pulling out of negotiations altogether.

Berbatov's agent, Emil Dantchev, told Goal.com in June that he had not had any contact from Gill or Ferguson since the end of last season.

“There is no news because we have not heard anything from anyone,” Dantchev said before adding that his client was happy to stay at Old Trafford.

It has not gone unnoticed, however, that United have been extremely busy over the last 12 months tying other players to new deals. The likes of Antonio Valencia, Park Ji-Sung, Patrice Evra, Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs have all signed contract extensions in the last year.

Follow Greg Stobart on