Ferguson: Hip replacement > dealing with Spurs

Matt Stead

Sir Alex Ferguson has branded Spurs and Daniel Levy’s transfer business as “painful” when recalling Manchester United’s signing of Dimitar Berbatov in 2008.

Manchester United signed Berbatov from Spurs in 2008 on transfer deadline day after the Bulgarian had been linked with a move to bitter rivals Manchester City for most of the summer.

The Red Devils had been interested throughout the transfer window, but when City were closing in on the Bulgarian, United and manager Ferguson pressed ahead with a move to sign the striker first – with former United chief executive David Gill describing Daniel Levy as a “nightmare” to deal with in the transfer market.

Ferguson has joined in with the criticism of Levy’s conduct over the deal, branding the experience as “more painful than my hip replacement”.

“Daniel Levy, chairman of Tottenham, nailed us to the flagpole in 2008 when he took us all the way to the last day for the transfer window before agreeing terms for Dimitar Berbatov.”When we got wind of the fact that Levy was trying to sell Berbatov to Manchester City, we stuck in our oar, chartered a plane and flew the player to Manchester, agreeing on terms with the player and, as I thought, a transfer fee with the club.
“Then Levy came back to us and said he needed Fraizer Campbell, one of our young strikers, as part of the deal.”David Gill demurred so Levy then upped Berbatov’s transfer fee a little.”Finally, in order to get the deal over the line, and to add insult to injury, we sent Campbell on loan and paid the increased fee.

“We were up until midnight signing and faxing papers to make sure all the paperwork went through before the deadline expired.

“That whole experience was more painful than my hip replacement.”