The ?30million Manchester United striker's 51-year-old mother Margarita received a callous email warning her she would be abducted unless a significant sum of money was handed over in exchange for her safety, according to a report in The Sun.
Concern: Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov is said to have discovered news that police had arrested a suspect threatening to kidnap his mother
Authorities in Blagoevgrad, the home town where the 30-year-old star was raised by his nurse mother who stilllives there, swooped on 38-year-old suspect Petar Antonov after IT experts allegedly traced the email to his home computer.
Ordeal: Berbatov's mother Margarita, who is a nurse, was allegedly threatened via email
Police are now said to be investigating whether the threat was politically motivated with Berbatov's mother an activist for the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party.
It's not the first time Berbatov has been caught up in a kidnapping controversy in his homeland. In 2009, theformer Tottenham star was warned over a plan to take him, his partner and young daughter while on a brief visit.
Alarm: Berbatov is set to start for Manchester United against Swiss champions FC Basle despite concerns
As a teenager playing for CSKA Sofia, Berbatov was seized by a local criminal Georgi Iliev who unsuccessfully demanded the striker to join his rival team Lokomotiv Plovdiv.
Berbatov, who retired from internationalfootball last year, is expected to start for Sir Alex Ferguson's side in place of injured Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez despite concerns over his mother.
National service: Former Bulgaria captain Berbatov quit international football last year
The United forward is not the first Barclays Premier League player to be affected by such an incident this season.
Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel was relieved when kidknappers in Nigeria returned his father unscathed, earlier this season.
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