Manchester United's top scorer Dimitar Berbatov looks likely to leave the club after being excluded from the Champions League final squad against Barcelona on Saturday.
The 30-year-old Bulgarian is the joint leading scorer in the Premier League, but found himself surplus to requirements in the Champions League final against Barcelona with manager Sir Alex Ferguson preferring his established front duo of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez. Surprisingly, Berbatov wasn't even afforded a place in the bench with Michael Owen, who has started just one league game this season, getting the nod.
It led to reports suggesting that the Bulgarian had walked out of the stadium before his side's final matchup against Barcelona. However, his agent Emil Danchev quashed reports saying Berbatov was at Wembley for the game.
It's nonsense. Mitko (Berbatov) was at Wembley and watched the game. There is nothing to say. Let us take a few days.
Newspapers around England are suggesting that Berbatov's days at United are numbered. The Sun and The Daily Star say that Berbatov has made up his mind to quit while the Daily Mirror points to a possible exchange with Berbatov's former club Tottenham Hotspur for creative midfielder Luka Modric.
The Independent reports that United do have the option of extending his contract but are in no hurry to do so. Meanwhile, The Times reported this - could hardly have had a more bleak indication about his future prospects than being overlooked in favour of Owen, who has started one league match all season.
United winger Nani, however, believes the club's top scorer is vital to the side and has urged Ferguson to retain the Bulgarian.
He has scored a lot of goals, and I would like him to play for Manchester again next season, Nani said. I don't know which players will be coming in, but most important is that the ones who stay fight for us.
Though it was believed that Berbatov wouldn't take part in Manchester United's victory parade of their Premiership trophy, the Bulgarian was present with his teammates as was Michael Owen whose contract with the club expires this summer and is also touted to leave.