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Ex-Man United striker released by French giants, linked to Premier League return

Dimitar Berbatov has been released by AS Monaco as rumours mount linking him with a return to the Premier League.

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The Club of the Principality have confirmed that that 34-year-old will not be retained at the Stade Louis II due to an inability to agree terms.

Speaking to L’Equipe [via Le 10 Sport], coach Leonardo Jardim explained why Les Rouges et Blancs had opted to cut the experienced Bulgarian hitman loose.

“Monaco can only put so much money on a player if they are decisive and play all of the time,” Jardim began.

“The best-paid players at Monaco are the key men who play and help the players to progress,” he continued.

“He has enormous qualities but he can’t stay here to play every other match. He deserves better than to finish his career as a substitute.”

The forward joined the French moneybags 18 months ago when he was signed in mid-season to replace the injured Radamel Falcao.

The classy striker moved from Fulham, who were subsequently relegated.

He previously featured for Tottenham Hotspur, where he won the League Cup in 2008, and enjoyed great success at Manchester United. During his time at Old Trafford the former Bayer Leverkusen man won the Premier League title twice—in 2009 and 2011—and also lifted the League Cup, the

Charity Shield twice and the Club World Cup in 2008.

He jointly-won the EPL Golden Boot with Carlos Tevez in 2011.

The striker managed seven league goals in 26 Ligue 1 appearances last term, and was praised by club vice president Vadim Vasilyev upon his departure from Monaco.

“Dimitar Berbatov showed all his talent and great professionalism,” Vasilyev began, as reported by The Guardian.

“He is clearly among the greatest strikers who have played for Monaco. We are proud of what he brought to the club and wish him the best in the future.”

Berbatov has admitted that he is keen to return to return to England.

Speaking to reporters in Sofia, according to EuroSport, he confirmed that he would be ‘delighted’ to return to English football.

“It’ll be a pleasure (to return to England),” the striker began, “I spent a long time in England and I keep very good memories,” he said.

“Everyone is watching the English championship… the Premier League, and I’ll be delighted to return.”

Newly-promoted Bournemouth are believed to be keen on the Bulgarian frontman, according to TalkSPORT, and may now move for the forward as they attempt to bolster their options in their first season in the top flight.