United to extend Berbatov deal

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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that the club will be extending the contract of Dimitar Berbatov.

The Bulgarian striker's current deal is set to expire at the end of the season, but the Old Trafford outfit have the option of tying the player to an additional year with the club.

It's an opportunity Ferguson will be taking, with last season's joint-top goalscorer in the Barclays Premier League going nowhere despite speculation to the contrary in the British press.

"We'll be exercising (the option to renew]. I think it kicks in in March," said the Scot ahead of tomorrow's clash against Blackburn.

Berbatov will be eager to feature against the league's basement side after hitting a fine run of form for United, scoring four goals in two games over the festive period. He also hit five past Rovers in the same fixture last season.

On the injury front, Ferguson was also keen to dismiss speculation that defender Chris Smalling was suffering from glandular fever in his press conference.

The England international missed the victory against Wigan on Monday with a bout of tonsillitis, but should return to face Newcastle in the first match of the New Year.

"Chris Smalling has got tonsillitis. I know there are reports about glandular fever but they're off the mark," added Ferguson.

"He had glandular fever as a kid but that's not the case here. He should be ready for the Newcastle game, at least definitely the Manchester City game in the FA Cup. He'll be ready for those games."

Dimitar Berbatov
Premier League
Manchester United
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