Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen will not stand in Dimitar Berbatov’s way if he carries out his threat to leave Fulham next month.
Berbatov’s agent revealed this week that the Bulgarian wants out – and Arsenal are already weighing up a cut-price offer for the 32-year-old.
New boss Meulensteen insists he is Berbatov’s biggest fan and doesn’t want him to leave.
But the Fulham boss accepts the ex-Manchester United striker could be off when the transfer window opens. He said: “I will never stand in the way of people’s ambitions. He is an immense player that I think any manager would want in his team – especially me.
“I’ve worked with Dimitar for so long. I’m one of his biggest fans because I know what he can do.
“I witnessed it every day on the training pitch at Manchester United.
“I had a really good chat with him. But we spoke about him as a player and the most important thing for me is to focus on the next few games up to January, no more.”
Meulensteen will follow Sir Alex Ferguson’s example to get Fulham’s season back on track.
The Dutchman spent 12 years working alongside Fergie at United and was first-team coach of a side which won seven major trophies.
But being Fulham boss means having to work at the other end of the Premier League table, with the Cottagers facing a fight for survival.
Ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Aston Villa, Meulensteen said: “I have been fortunate enough to sit by the most successful manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, and he taught me a lot.
“But the one thing that stuck with me is that in life as well as football you are constantly faced with challenges.”
And he added: “But the most important thing is to accept the challenge, embrace the challenge and enjoy taking that challenge on.”