Former Manchester United star wanted in Serie A.
Serie A giants Lazio could make a surprise bid for Fulham’s unsettled striker Dimitar Berbatov in the January transfer window, CaughtOffside understands.
The Italian side have made a striker a top priority for when the transfer window re-opens, having failed to finalise a move for Galatasaray star Burak Yilmaz during the summer, with the Turkish hit-man now more likely to be snapped up by Chelsea in the middle of the season.
Veteran forward Miroslav Klose could also be set for an exit from the Stadio Olimpico, with the prolific German international being eyed up as a surprise target for both Barcelona and Arsenal.
This would leave manager Vladamir Petkovic short of options upfront, and it has emerged that Fulham’s Berbatov could be the club’s main target to solve this crisis.
The 32-year-old has not enjoyed the best of times since moving to Craven Cottage from Manchester United last summer, and has often cut a frustrated figure due to the lower ability level of many of his team-mates.
Berbatov had also previously played for bigger clubs such as Tottenham and Bayer Leverkusen, and reportedly turned down the chance to join Juventus over Fulham last summer, a move he may now be regretting after Martin Jol’s side’s continued poor form sees them as relegation strugglers for the second season in a row.
The Bulgarian did manage 15 goals for the club last season, and still has the ability to provide match-winning moments of magic, though Fulham may feel they are happy to let the unsettled forward leave the club, as he has managed just one goal so far this season.
Galatasaray were also supposedly in for him during the summer, and if he is made available he could spark interest from other clubs, though Lazio could be set to table a £5m bid early on to ensure they win the race for his signature, which would see Fulham recoup what they paid for him last season.
Despite his natural talent, Berbatov has often been criticised in England for playing the game at a slow pace and appearing lazy, and it seems likely that the style of football in Serie A could be more suited to his abilities and playing style.
Lazio have had an inconsistent start to the season, but remain hopeful of challenging for a place in Europe, which Berbatov would certainly see as a significant step up from struggling Fulham.
The Rome side could also be on the lookout for a new midfielder this January, with it seeming increasingly likely that they will have one of their own top players poached by a bigger club, as Brazilian star Hernanes continues to attract interest from the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Atletico Madrid.
Berbatov has scored 118 goals in eight seasons in English football, but looks ready to take on a new challenge elsewhere.