Aston Villa were thwarted in their bid to sign Dimitar Berbatov on deadline day due to apparent wage demands, with the striker joining Greek side PAOK.
The 34-year-old Bulgarian was a free agent after leaving Monaco in the summer and reports had linked him with a deadline-day switch to Aston Villa.
But he has instead committed to Superleague outfit PAOK, who are coached by former Juventus defender Igor Tudor, until June 30, 2016.
A statement published on paokfc.gr confirmed the two-time Barclays Premier League winner’s arrival in Thessaloniki.
It is understood the 34-year-old – a free agent after leaving Monaco at the end of last season – landed at Birmingham Airport in the early hours of transfer deadline day on Tuesday and was picked up by Berbatov’s fellow Bulgarian and current Villa ambassador Stylian Petrov, who used to play for the club.
It is understood Berbatov held talks with Villa representatives at the Bodymoor Heath training ground but they never got close to reaching an agreement over his personal terms.
Berbatov was released by Monaco this summer at the end of the one-and-a-half year contract he signed when joining from Fulham in January 2014.
He had previously spent four successful years at Manchester United, where he won two Premier League titles, the League Cup and the club World Cup.
Berbatov, who retired from international football in 2012 after 78 caps for Bulgaria, began his career at CSKA Sofia before joining Bayer Leverkusen and then Tottenham in 2006.