Football

Berbatov sale was catalyst - Levy

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Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has placed Dimitar Berbatov at the centre of key events that led to Juande Ramos' sacking and changes in the structure of the club.

Berbatov has been accused of looking for a move 12 months after signing from Bayer Leverkusen, then a decision was made to sell him at the start of this summer, for fear of losing the Bulgaria striker cheaply if he served three years of his contract.

With Robbie Keane also departing, Levy admits the club were indecisive in targeting replacements - effectively a criticism of sporting director Damien Comolli, who has departed in the shake-up at White Hart Lane.

"Dimitar first intimated to Martin Jol that he wanted to join Manchester United after just one season at our club - and just 10 days before the end of the summer 2007 transfer window," Levy said.

"The internal decision to sell Dimitar at the beginning of the (previous) window was premised on a suitable replacement being found and on the assumption that Dimitar couldn't be persuaded to change his mind.

"The timing of the actual transfer of Dimitar was completely immaterial and unconnected to our bringing in a replacement for him.

"We had been aware for a long period that he was likely to leave and our negotiations to get the best fee for him was independent of our work to replace both him (as we did with Pavlyuchenko) and Robbie Keane, with experienced strikers.

"We failed because we were not as decisive or as successful in identifying or replacing the two strikers as early as we should have been."

Comolli's recruitment of "experienced" strikers led to the signing of youngster Fraizer Campbell arriving on loan, and Roman Pavlyuchenko, who has struggled in the Barclays Premier League after no break from domestic action in Russia.

It will be new boss Harry Redknapp who will oversee the transfers during the next window.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Robbie Keane
Roman Pavlyuchenko
Dimitar Berbatov
Football
Premier League
Manchester United
Fraizer Campbell

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