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Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen is confident he has persuaded Dimitar Berbatov to stay at Fulham beyond the January transfer window.

The Bulgarian’s agent Emil Dantchev revealed earlier this month his client was not happy at the club and that he wanted to leave. Meulensteen got to know Berbatov well during his time as a coach before taking over when Martin Jol was sacked. The Dutchman has had a conversation with the maverick striker and is convinced he has changed his mind.

‘We know each other quite well which makes a difference because I’m not a stranger to him and he’s not a stranger to me,’ Meulensteen said, ahead of facing Manchester City on Saturday afternoon. ‘He knows the outlook I have on playing football, which I think he buys into. Looking at the performances he’s put in so far, he’s been excellent.’

‘We’ve spent a lot of time on the training pitch. That’s where you strike up different sorts of relationships with players than being a manager. If you’re a coach you’re a bit easier to have chats with about concerns players have or their weaknesses or strengths.

‘With the manager you’re a bit more in a straight decision-making position. You’re playing, or you’re not, and this is the reason why. When you are a coach you’re a bit closer to the players and it’s a bit more informal where you can just discuss things.’