Fiorentina, Juventus & Fulham battles to sign Dimitar Berbatov

Fulham made a last ditch bid to sign Dimitar Berbatov in a dramatic chase for the Manchester United striker.

Berbatov was in Turin and close to agreeing a deal with Juventus on Wednesday night after the Italian champions seemingly gazumped Fiorentina to his signature.

The 31-year-old flew to Munich with the aim to take a connecting flight to Florence and speak to Fiorentina.

However, Juventus stepped in while he was at the airport and he missed the flight to Florence. Juventus agreed a £5m fee with United and offered Berbatov £2m a year over two years.

However, Fulham made a late move in the hope of persuading him to stay in England.

The move prompted a furious reaction from Fiorentina who claimed the striker 'didn't deserve to wear our jersey.'

In a statement the club said: '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 and on 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, 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.'

Juventus director of football Beppe Moratta confirmed they have now switched sights to Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendnter.

He said: 'We made all in transparency contacting the player after he refused to go to Fiorentina. Berbatov preferred stay in England for family reasons.

'We have much to discuss with Fiorentina. We have acted with the maximum fairness and transparency with regard to the market dynamics.

'I reject the allegations from Fiorentina. We entered into the business over Berbatov when we heard that he had refused Fiorentina, and in the meantime there was a proposal by Fulham.'

'Bendtner is available, we made an appreciation, but we can’t say we already bought him.'