Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov has emerged as a shock transfer target for Barcelona, according to the Daily Express.

Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino is thought to be an admirer of the striker’s technique and experience, and is contemplating making a January move for the forward to provide cover for the injured Lionel Messi.

While Martino still has Neymar and Alexis Sanchez at his disposal, the Argentine coach is keen to add an experienced forward as back up according to reports in Spain.

Berbatov represents perhaps the cheapest option, with alternatives such as Robert Lewandowski, Sergio Aguero and Didier Drogba all set to demand a hefty transfer fee and extensive wages.

The Bulgarian forward only has six months to run on his current deal, and Barcelona believe Fulham may be willing to sell in January for a cut price figure, if as expected Berbatov decides against signing a new deal at Craven Cottage.

The 32-year-old could be lured to Spain by the prospect of one final shot at the big time, although he is likely to play a far less crucial role to the one he currently does at the West London club.

However, it remains to be seen whether the former Manchester United man will be willing to accept the role of a bit part player at the Nou Camp, while his wage demands may also prove an issue.

Lionel Messi is expected to miss up to eight weeks, after tearing his hamstring in last weekend’s match against Real Betis.

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