Says Ramos as hunt for in-form striker hots up

POACHER: Dimitar Berbatov's agent says he wants to win trophies. Pic. Lefty Shivamu. 12/07/2007. © Gallo Images
POACHER: Dimitar Berbatov's agent says he wants to win trophies. Pic. Lefty Shivamu. 12/07/2007. © Gallo Images

LONDON - Spurs coach Juande Ramos says he has no intention of selling Dimitar Berbatov, 26, in the January transfer window.

Berbatov's agent Emil Dantchev told BBC Sport that the striker was happy at Tottenham but would be interested in a move to "a big club". But Ramos countered: "Obviously Berbatov's agent is looking to do his business and has been making comments.

"But we are happy because we have the player on a contract and we plan to keep him."

Berbatov has been linked with Manchester United while Chelsea boss Avram Grant has confirmed he is an admirer of the former CSKA Sofia and Bayer Leverkusen player.

But Spurs are determined to keep the in-form Bulgarian international, who cost them £10,9 million (about R152 million) in May 2006. He scored 22 goals in his first season at White Hart Lane and has bagged 11 goals this term, including four in the recent 6-4 victory over Reading.

Tottenham assistant coach Gus Poyet says no club has yet made an offer for Berbatov.

He said: "There is nothing on the table and there is nothing happening. It is not a problem for us. We are happy with Berba, he is here and it is no drama. We want to improve and we want to go to a better level - he has to stay."

Dantchev said he had spoken to Spurs' chairman Daniel Levy about Berbatov's future, adding that his player wanted to join a club with a chance of winning silverware.

"Dimitar wants to fulfil his potential and win trophies now," said Dantch "Fans must understand time is running out for him to play for a club that can match his ambition.

"I would like to stress this is not about money. This is about sporting ambition. But after Tottenham's bad start to the season, it is unlikely they will have the chance to do something big this season."

Perhaps of more immediate concern to both Poyet and Ramos than whether Berbatov stays or goes is the Spurs defence.

The team conceded four against Reading and let in two sloppy goals in the 1-2 loss to Aston Villa on New Year's Day.

"We are lacking in some defensive departments," said Ramos. "It is something we need to look at. We are paying for lapses.

"We need to find a solution to our defensive problems. If we can't sort the problems out with the players we already have here, we will look outside for other players." - BBC