Dimitar Berbatov, so peripheral at Manchester United he has struggled to make the matchday squad recently, looks set to leave the club at the end of the season.
In addition to Sir Alex Ferguson's candour that the Bulgarian will be at a new club next year, his agent further clarified the inevitable.
“I had three meetings with Alex Ferguson,” Berbatov’s agent Emil Danchev said on Sunday.
“We should accept that he’ll try to build a team for the next three or four years and Berbatov will not be part of this team. Ferguson wants to change the playing style, to implement more speed. I was pleased with United’s position as they said they’ll not oppose Berbatov’s move in the summer.”
Berbatov divided opinion before he even pulled on a United shirt. Signed for £30.75m from Tottenham on August 2008's transfer deadline day, "Berbaflop" or "Berbagod", has experienced an ambivalent four seasons at Old Trafford.
Berbatov does his best Godfather impression:
He scored just 26 goals in his first two years and has been accused of being a flat-track bully, as well as an end-of-season choker. Yet he is a majestic footballer boasting technical brilliance Wayne Rooney would struggle to replicate.
A scorer of four hat-tricks at United - including one against Liverpool - he seemed destined not to stay beyond summer 2012 when Ferguson dropped him from the 2011 Champions League final squad. Michael Owen, who had scored five goals all term and been injured for the majority of the campaign, was preferred ahead of him.
His Wembley woe had already begun two years previously. A dismal penalty against Everton in the 2009 FA Cup semi-final shootout defeat saw some United supporters boo him when he warmed up in the following fixture against Portsmouth.
Then last season he missed two gilt-edged opportunities in another cup semi-final against Manchester City. Both chances came in a goalless first half, but City prevailed 1-0 and won their first major trophy in 35 years.
Berbaphile or Berbaphobe, the 31-year-old has nevertheless given United fans some memorable moments. A crucial brace in a comeback against Blackpool last year, adroit volleys against Sunderland, Blackburn and West Ham and his ingenious bamboozlement of James Collins at the Scoreboard End will all be cherished.
"Football is an art, and I am painting a masterpiece," Berbatov once mused. So here's a gallery of him weaving his own artistry in a United shirt...
Saying "no" to a Big Issue
Volleying in against Aalborg
On the ball
Five for the day against Blackburn
Striking the pose against Birmingham
Wembley Woe Part II
Wembley Woe III