Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted that despite transfer speculation surrounding Dimitar Berbatov, the striker is in exactly the same position as all the other Manchester United strikers to prove himself in the upcoming season.
Berbatov was the joint top scorer in the Barclays Premier League last season, along with Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez. But despite the Bulgaria international achieving top striking honours, Berbatov had limited starts for United in the second half of the season after Javier Hernandez burst onto the scene.
But Ferguson says that although Berbatov has been unlucky to receive so few starts for the side, he doesn't choose the same squad week in and out, and the star has just as much chance as Wayne Rooney and Hernandez or getting into the forward line up.
"I'd understand that [if he wanted to leave] but you could say that about them all,” Ferguson said of exit rumours surrounding Berbatov.
"I don't pick the same team every week do I? I've only done that once in the last three years.
"So they all understand it's the squad that wins the games, wins the cups and I've got a good squad that will be used in exactly the same way.
"They've got to understand that now and they all do."
Ferguson explained that while Berbatov was indeed unlucky last season, he still thinks the striker is top class and an important part of the United squad.
"The situation was straightforward. Chicharito hit such good form that you had to put him in every game, because he added so much in terms of threatening defenders all the time,” Ferguson said.
"It was just unfortunate for Berbatov. It didn't make him a bad player, he was just an unlucky player in that this lad came in. But that's football.
"But Dimitar, he's been brilliant, first class. His training has been terrific and he's a good type of person. A nice guy."