Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen believes that he can keep Dimitar Berbatov at Craven Cottage, despite claims that the striker is keen to leave in January.
The Bulgarian recently announced via his agent that he has grown frustrated at life in West London, and that a New Year move to another Premier League side was on his list of priorities.
This alerted the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Newcastle, all of whom were rumoured to have been interested in the enigmatic, yet skilful, front-man.
However, Meulensteen – who recently took over in the struggling Cottagers’ dugout from compatriot Martin Jol – feels that he has doe enough to change Berbatov’s mind, and that his talismanic hit-man will be staying:
“We know each other quite well which makes a difference because I’m not a stranger to him and he’s not a stranger to me,” he is quoted by the Daily Mail.
“He knows the outlook I have on playing football, which I think he buys into. Looking at the performances he’s put in so far, he’s been excellent.
“We’ve spent a lot of time on the training pitch. That’s where you strike up different sorts of relationships with players than being a manager. If you’re a coach you’re a bit easier to have chats with about concerns players have or their weaknesses or strengths.”
Meanwhile, Fulham are also believed to have sealed a deal for Clint Dempsey.
The American international is set to return to West London from the Settle Sounders on a two month loan deal during the MLS off-season.