Giuseppe Marotta says Manchester United’s Dimitar Berbatov has turned down the chance to sign for Juventus and will instead join Fulham.
Bulgarian forward Berbatov had been expected to join Turin club Juve after talks over a move to Fiorentina broke down.
However, according to Juve director Marotta, the 31-year-old has elected to link up with his former Tottenham coach Martin Jol at Craven Cottage.
Berbatov played under Jol during the Dutchman’s time in charge of Spurs, and the former Bayer Leverkusen man now looks set to re-join his old coach in west London after falling out of favour at Old Trafford.
Marotta told Sky Italia: ‘We have contacted Manchester United about five pm when we have known that Berbatov rejected Fiorentina’s offer. Then we have contacted player’s agent and he said to us that Berbatov had a offer from his former coach to join Fulham.
‘We only approached Manchester United and got close to the player after discovering he had turned down Fiorentina. There was an offer from Fulham, but he wanted to evaluate our proposal too and give a definitive response tonight.
‘Berbatov wanted to stay in England because of his family, it’s a life choice not a matter of money. He was in Munich because his wife was born in Munich. Juventus acted with transparency and fairness’
Both Juventus and Fiorentina are expected to turn their attentions to Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner, and Marotta has confirmed the Dane is on the radar of last season’s Serie A champions.
He added: ‘Bendtner is an available player and we have evaluated him, but we cannot say that we’re about to conclude the deal.
‘Fernando Llorente could remain an objective, seeing as his contract expires in 2013. When the rules allow us to make an approach, then we’ll see how it ends. At the moment it is a dream to think he’ll play for