Dimitar Berbatov

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Dimitar Berbatov says he wants to play in the Premier League again

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Dimitar Berbatov, at 35 years old, says he isn’t done yet.

The former Manchester United striker who won the Premier League twice with the Red Devils told BBC 5 Live that he wants to come back to play in the English top flight.

“When you’ve played in the Premier League you don’t want to play anywhere else,” Berbatov said. “In this stage of my career I know where I am — I would happily play for a team where they use my experience and my knowledge. I can help young players develop and make the team stronger. In the end it’s all about helping the team play.”

Berbatov spent five seasons in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen before moving to England in 2006, first with Tottenham Hotspur for two seasons before a switch to Manchester United that netted 48 goals in 108 league appearances. He spent two more season in the Premier League with Fulham before heading overseas to play for Monaco and Greek side PAOK. He was released from Panathinaikos in June, leaving him without a club since the summer.

The Bulgarian international has made 78 appearances for his country, scoring 48 times, but has been retired from international play since 2010.

Burnley, Middlesbrough, Hull City, Swansea City, and Sunderland have all failed to score double-digit goals thus far in league play. However, some of those clubs, such as Middlesbrough and Swansea, already have new purchases up front and likely would pass on someone of Berbatov’s abilities.

The 35-year-old was known for his unique style of play which featured brilliant flashes of skill and technique that punctuated long stretches of seemingly nonchalant strolls around the pitch. He was often branded as “lazy” although many disputed that negative label.

“Interview with Dimitar Berbatov, conducted by journalist Dimitar Berbatov”

Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images
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Oh man. Dimitar Berbatov is ready to add a Pulitzer Prize to his trophy case.

The former Manchester United and Spurs striker sometimes called “The Incredible Sulk” has taken to his Facebook page after picking up a red card for PAOK against rivals AEK Athens over the weekend.

[ VIDEO: USMNT duo Zardes, Parker talk youth-heavy camp ]

Berbatov, 34, was tossed for throwing an elbow in the box, giving him his first red card in 14 years. The big Bulgarian had come on as a substitute, and has drawn much criticism for his brief appearance.

So he granted an exclusive interview to himself in which he lashed out at “stupid” journalism regarding his passion for the game.

Interview with Dimitar Berbatov, conducted by journalist Dimitar Berbatov..JDB: Hi, How are you feeling..DB: Hi. I am…

Posted by Dimitar Berbatov on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

DB vs. JDB. Hard-hitting questions from JDB. Like this one:

JDB: Some media says you don’t want to play for PAOK any more?
DB: This is why i am giving interview to you, and not to people who are coming up with stupid things like this..This is not true, and with this kind of talks some people are trying to harm the team.

Dimitar, lay off Journalist Dimitar. He’s just doing his job, man.

Ex-Manchester United striker Berbatov spurned Aston Villa for Greek club

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34-year-old striker Dimitar Berbatov, a free agent after being released from his Monaco contract this summer, has signed for Greek club PAOK Thessaloniki.

Multiple reports across England suggested that Aston Villa was heavily pursuing the former Manchester United, Tottenham, and Fulham striker, even flying him into Birmingham on Deadline Day and sending former Villa player and Bulgarian international Stylian Petrov to pick him up, but the two parties never came close to agreeing to personal terms.

Instead, Berbatov chose a club that has finished top three in the Greek top flight four times in the past six seasons, but has not won a league title since 1985. PAOK did not release details of the contract, but according to Transfermarkt, Berbatov signed a one-year contract.

Berbatov has proven to be productive despite his age, scoring seven times in 26 Ligue 1 appearances last season with Monaco, although he faded down the stretch, scoring just twice after Christmas in 14 appearances, managing just three full 90 minutes over that span.

PAOK will unveil Berbatov to Toumba Stadium on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa had a very quiet Deadline Day, signing just a pair of central defenders in Jolean Lescott and Liverpool loanee Tiago Ilori. The club did most of its business prior to the final day of the window, nabbing French forward Jordan Ayew and Barcelona winger Adama Traore among others.

Bargain Bucket – A look at best free transfers & loans available from Adnan to Yedlin

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While the world is focused on nine-figure megawatt transfers and the big-name clubs competing for them, several out-of-contract players and loan possibilities could help teams firm up their chances at everything from a Top 4 spot to Premier League safety.

So who are these names, and how much of a risk would they be?

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

Joey Barton — The former QPR and Newcastle man is 32-years-old and has a combustible personality, but is certainly not among the top reasons the R’s were relegated last season. Could fill in the gaps as a minute-eater or final quarter substitute that adds a bit of steel to the side.

DeAndre Yedlin — Those in the know say the USMNT youngster is in high demand as a potential right wing on loan from Tottenham. Will he stay in England?

Ron Vlaar — The Villa man is out until the new year with a knee injury, but could see himself as anything from a lynchpin for a lower club’s defense to a depth move for old boss Louis van Gaal. His health will be a situation to monitor over the Fall months.

Dimitar Berbatov —  Fancy taking a chance on ‘The Incredible Sulk?’ The 34-year-old Bulgarian scored nine goals in 38 matches for AS Monaco last season, seven coming in Ligue 1 play.

Jonas Gutierrez — Certainly a ways off from his days as a plug-and-play midfielder for Newcastle, but the Argentine is a boon to any locker room and can give a lift to any midfield. Can play defender in a pinch, but does seem headed back to South America.

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(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Adnan Januzaj (right) —  For a guy many have tipped for a surefire loan away from Old Trafford, the young Belgian has looked stronger, quicker and more confident this young season under Louis van Gaal… and more importantly he’s been on the pitch, too.

Wilson Palacios — Has the experience in English football if he’s willing to play an ancillary role. Otherwise, it’ll be off to the Championship if he wants to stay in England.

Yoan Gourcuff — Once a hot-button transfer target from Lyon, he has not signed for another club since his contract expired. At age 29, did he wait too long to come to England? Was linked with Arsenal earlier this window.

Michu —  Remember when he lit the Premier League on fire for a brief time with Swansea City? Well Garry Monk doesn’t want him around any more. Perhaps a loan move will do?

Also available for “free”: Oguchi Onyewu, Shola Ameobi, Cristian Ledesma, Carlton Cole.

Saturday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Berbatov to Villa, Rahman to Chelsea

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The Daily Express is reporting that Dimitar Berbatov is inching nearer to a return to the Premier League, and is on his way to England to hold talks with Tim Sherwood and Aston Villa.

Berbatov has scored goals for Tottenham, Manchester United and Fulham, and played in France’s Ligue 1 for Monaco last season. The striker has been without a club since Monaco said they would not renew his contract in June.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news

The report states that the man who won the Premier League Golden Boot with Manchester United in 2011 has talked with Villa boss Sherwood on the phone, but will travel to Birmingham to sit down in person and discuss a possible move. At 34-years-old, the veteran Bulgarian striker can still score goals, and would have to fill the void left by Christian Benteke’s move to Liverpool.

Chelsea may have found a replacement for Filipe Luis, as The Guardian believes a deal is close to bring Baba Rahman to Stamford Bridge. The 21-year-old Ghanaian plays left-back for German side FC Augsburg, and Chelsea has lodged a $27 million bid to make the move happen. Despite having arguably the best left-back in the Premier League in Cesar Azpilicueta, Jose Mourinho has been open about trying to add some depth to that position after Luis was sold back to Atletico Madrid this summer. Rahman’s agent was quoted as saying “Both clubs are still working on fine-tuning but we hope the agreement will be finalized soon.”

[ MORE: All of PST’s season previews | Full schedule for every Premier League club ]

Up in Geordie country, the Newcastle Chronicle is reporting that the Magpies have stepped up their attempt to secure the services of Charlie Austin. The striker has been tabbed for a move away from Loftus Road since Queens Park Rangers were relegated, but his London club has been holding out for the right offer. QPR has said it will take upwards of $23 million to buy Austin, who scored 18 goals in the Premier League last season. Only Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane and Diego Costa scored more times than Austin, and with the possibility of Papiss Cisse moving away from St. James’ Park, Steve McClaren needs to find a top striker for his side.

Alan Pardew is close to making another big signing at Selhurst Park, as Crystal Palace’s $14 million bid for Connor Wickham has been accepted by Sunderland. The striker must now undergo a medical in London and reach personal terms on a contract with the Eagles. Wickham would become Palace’s second most expensive signing ever, just behind Yohan Cabaye, who completed a $15 million move in July. Wickham had a disappointing campaign for the Black Cats last season, scoring just six goals in 40 appearances. However, Pardew is known for getting the best out of his players, and the 22-year-old Wickham would add solid depth to Crystal Palace’s roster.