By Chris Wright
It seemed to all and sundry that Dimitar Berbatov was on the cusp of joining Fiorentina yesterday afternoon, with a three-year contract waiting for him on the boardroom table at the Artemio Franchi as he flew in from Manchester.
However, it would appear that Berba had a sudden change of heart after touching down in Italy somewhere, ‘disappearing’ from the airport despite Fiorentina having paid for his flight – with rumours abound that his agent had begun talks with both Juventus and Fulham while they were in transit.
Needless to say, La Viola were not amused, in fact they were downright pissed off – issuing the following statement on their official website:
“Fiorentina announce that the transfer for Dimitar Berbatov definitively collapsed after an agreement with Manchester United had been concluded (with shared exchange of contracts, the first instalment paid and the financial guarantees for the second instalment ratified) and after reaching a verbal agreement with the player over his contract.
“During today the English club had allowed their player the written permission to come to Florence for a medical and to sign his contract.
“The player got on the flight with his agent (using) tickets paid for by Fiorentina. He never arrived in Florence.
“This was down to outlandish and arrogant behaviour of other clubs, who have nothing to do with fair play and sporting ethics that go even beyond the confines of fairness.
“As for the player, apart from his characteristics and his value on the field, at this stage we are happy he didn’t come to Fiorentina. He did not deserve our city, to wear our jersey or the values that represent it.”
As we say, not happy.
The latest word from Juventus comes courtesy of director general Giuseppe Marotta, who told Sky Italia his club acted with ‘maximum fairness’ and that Juve only gave Berba’s agent a tinkle after they heard he’d rejected Fiorentina’s advances.
We’ll keep you posted…