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Friday, January 4, 2008
Spurs slap record price tag on Berbatov

Juande Ramos ranks Dimitar Berbatov as the best player outside the Champions League and believes it would take a British transfer record to sign him.

The current record stands at 30 million for Andriy Shevchenko, who joined Chelsea from AC Milan in July 2006.

Ramos is confident Berbatov will remain at Spurs beyond the January transfer window despite the 26-year-old's agent suggesting he would want to leave White Hart Lane if the right offer was made.

Manchester United and Chelsea have been linked with a move for the Bulgaria international, who has scored 11 times this season, but Ramos does not feel any club will match Spurs' valuation.

Ramos believes his player commands a bigger fee than the cost of bringing Andriy Shevchenko to Stamford Bridge, which is valued around the 30million mark.

'I think a club would have to break the British transfer record to sign Berbatov,' said Ramos. 'At this moment Berbatov's value is more than this price. At least that is what we think.

'But everyone has a price. The intention of Tottenham is not to sell the player.'

The decision on whether Berbatov would be allowed to go is not down to Ramos, but the Spaniard's valuation of his striker stems from rating him as the finest player not currently involved in Europe's top club competition.

'The truth is that I understand perfectly why he would cost so much money because there are few players like Berbatov,' he said. 'And those who do exist play for great teams who play in the Champions League. And those great teams will not sell their players.

'He's the only great player who has not played in the Champions League that they could sign.'

A bid of more than 30million would represent a healthy profit on the 10.9million Spurs paid Bayer Leverkusen at the start of last season, and it would also cancel out the bulk of the summer spending.

But Ramos is desperate to keep Berbatov to guide Spurs towards European qualification - and also to prove they are not a selling club.

'That is a logical deduction,' he said. 'I fully expect that at the end of January I will have all my four strikers.'

Ramos has identified the players he wants to bring to Spurs this month and may have to sell to raise cash, with Wayne Routledge and Hossam Ghaly expected to leave.

Scotland full-back Alan Hutton was linked with a move from Rangers but it is understood he will stay at Ibrox.

Meanwhile, Ledley King is fit after an inflammation to the knee last week led to him being rested against Aston Villa on New Year's Day.

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