Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed that Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov, who was transferred from Tottenham for a record fee of £30.75 million in 2008, will be leaving the Red Devils' camp this summer, according to an ESPN report.
The 31-year-old striker, whose contract expires this summer, had earlier expressed his disappointment at being benched in almost every game.
Ferguson admitted that actually he wanted to extend Berbatov's contract for another year. He disclosed that he could not guarantee a place in the first team for the former Bulgarian skipper who wants to be included in the starting eleven.
"We will be taking up the option on his contract but I understand he wants first-team football. It's difficult for me to guarantee that so it could lead to him looking elsewhere. I'd listen to what he says. His concern is he's not getting enough first-team football at 31 years of age," The Sun quoted Ferguson as saying.
The Red Devils will be trying their best to extend the contract of Berbatov, who was rumoured to be bid by his former club Bayer Leverkusen in the January transfer season, for another year rather than letting him go for nothing as a free agent.
''It is something we need to consider at the end of the season. For a player of his age and his ability it is disappointing for him that he is not getting first-team football. We will look at the end of the season but until then, he remains at United,'' ESPN quoted Ferguson as saying.
Berbatov, who has started in only five games this season, has scored a total of 56 goals in 148 games for United and was was the joint winner of the Golden Boot with Manchester City's Carlos Tevez, last season.
Ferguson, whose team next travel to Spain to face Athletic Bilbao in the round of sixteen (second leg) of the Europa League, is again most likely to bench Berbatov in Manchester United's next fixture.
''He could play tomorrow but I have good options in terms of front players with Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney,'' said Ferguson, according to ESPN.