Dimitar Berbatov may finally have a route out of Manchester United after it was reported that Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg are ready to begin talks over a potential deal.

The 31-year-old has endured a difficult last 12 months as he fell well down the pecking order at Manchester United and was forced to spend the vast majority of the season simply watching from the bench.

Dimitar Berbatov
It has been an unhappy 12 months for Berbatov at United [Reuters]

He was hoping to secure a move earlier this summer but there appeared to be a lack of interest. Now, Berbatov has seen his chances become further limited with the announcement that Robin van Persie is set to sign for Manchester United.

The arrival of the Premier League's top scorer from last season virtually guarantees the end of Berbatov's playing career at United and he will be desperate to push through a move.

Zenit may well be an option after the Metro reported that the Russian side were willing to offer Berbatov an escape route and have informed United that they want to open formal negotiations.

The paper believes that Berbatov would be interested in returning to Eastern Europe and Zenit officials are prepared to fly to Manchester in the coming weeks to finalise a deal.

Berbatov has had a mixed time at Old Trafford since making the move from Tottenham for £30million back in 2008. He has scored 75 goals in 178 appearances, and finished one season as joint top scorer in the league alongside Carlos Tevez, but he has grown increasingly frustrated at his lack of opportunities.

The form of Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez meant that he fell out-of-favour with Sir Alex Ferguson and struggled to force his way into the first team.

However, his proven track record in the Premier League would suggest that he still has plenty to offer and Ferguson has previously stated that he is prepared to let the forward leave for the right price.