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On this day: Manchester United sign Dimitar Berbatov

Five years ago today, Dimitar Berbatov completed his switch from Tottenham Hotspur to Manchester United.

During the 2007-08 campaign, Manchester United, spearheaded by the attacking trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez, proved themselves to be the strongest side in European football by winning the Champions League to accompany the Premier League title.

However, despite that success, which had been built upon scoring goals, manager Sir Alex Ferguson had decided that his attacking options were in need of bolstering for the new campaign.

The champions had been linked with a host of options, but one name kept reappearing among the speculation - Dimitar Berbatov.

The Bulgarian had impressed during his three years with Tottenham Hotspur, scoring 46 goals in 102 outings. His laid back style had many believing that he could become United's new Eric Cantona.

It was a deal that United almost missed out on, though. Rivals Manchester City, who hours before had been taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group, lodged a bid for the Spurs frontman five years ago today.

Dimitar Berbatov holds up his shirt at his Manchester United unveiling.© Getty Images

That prompted United into action and with just a few minutes remaining until the transfer window shut for business until January, a £30m fee, which also included Fraizer Campbell moving in the opposite direction on a season-long loan deal, was agreed with the North Londoners, making Berbatov a United player in the process.

"Joining United is a dream come true. I look forward to playing my part in helping this club win more honours," he told the club's official website at the time.

Meanwhile, his new manager Ferguson added: "This is a key signing. Dimitar is one of the best and most exciting strikers in world football. His style and ability will give the team a different dimension and I'm sure he will be a popular player with the fans."

Berbatov was a regular during his first three seasons at Old Trafford, but during the 2011-12 campaign, he found starting opportunities hard to come by.

The arrival of Robin van Persie from Arsenal last summer lessened his chances of starting action even further and so he was granted a switch to fellow Premier League side Fulham as the deadline approached. The 32-year-old left United having won two Premier League titles, one League Cup, two Community Shields and a FIFA World Club Cup.

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Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates the winning goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United on December 9, 2012
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323

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