Fulham manager Martin Jol has hailed Dimitar Berbatov as the biggest signing in the club’s history.Berbatov snubbed offers from Juventus and Fiorentina to join his former Tottenham boss in a 5million deal and lifted spirits at the club after the ?15m sale of Mousa Dembele to Tottenham.
Short but sweet: Fulham have beaten Juventus and Fiorentina to Dimitar Berbatov
The Bulgarian has not played for
Manchester United this season and has not started a game since February
but he could be involved at West Ham on Saturday.
Jol said: ‘With good players you have to pay good money but we have made steps over the last couple of years.
‘There were a lot of clubs interested in Dimitar. We were able and capable of getting him and I’m not lying, he’s here.
‘I tried to do something months ago
and it didn’t come off and I came back. For him it was the right moment
to make a decision and he made that decision for us.
‘I’m very, very happy and I think our
fans will be very happy and proud because it’s probably the biggest
signing in the history of Fulham.’ The Bulgarian accepted a pay-cut to move to the west London side - he is now on a two-year deal worth ?50,000-a-week.
Jol was Tottenham manager when
Berbatov arrived at White Hart Lane for ?11m from Bayer Leverkusen in
2006 but had been sacked by the time the striker was sold to
Manchester United for ?30m two years later.
‘In my final period at Spurs, I said,
“He will go over my dead body”,’ recalled Jol. ‘We had a good
relationship and he knows that he will enjoy his football here.
Hopefully, he can score his goals and we have other good players around
Reunited: Martin Jol signed Berbatov from Bayer Leverkusen for Spurs in 2006
Berbatov’s decision to sign for
Fulham did not go down well with Fiorentina or Juventus, who both
believed they had struck agreements with the striker.
Juventus director general Beppe
Marotta said: ‘Berbatov certainly did not make a good impression on
anyone and it was an unprofessional way to behave, so we agree with
Fiorentina that it’s best he didn’t come here.’
Fulham are also keen to sign Sunderland’s 27-year-old midfielder Kieran Richardson.