FOOTBALL NEWS

18/07/2012 18:57, Report by Adam Marshall & Nick Coppack
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Sir Alex: Durban star could leave

Sir Alex Ferguson praised Dimitar Berbatov's performance after Manchester United's satisfying pre-season tour win against AmaZulu - but admitted the Bulgarian has designs on a departure.

Berbatov produced an eye-catching display in Durban, including providing the assist for Federico Macheda's winning goal, but his future could still be away from Old Trafford. The manager has reiterated he wants to be fair to his number nine, who has recently struggled to hold down a regular place in the Reds line-up.

"I don't need to herald Dimitar's abilities," said Sir Alex. "He's a fantastic talent. He didn't get the amount of football he wanted last season. It's difficult for him at his age to accept second place in the forward line. The likes of Rooney, Chicharito and Welbeck were all in front of him last season. It's been difficult. But in fairness to him today he applied himself well and did very well with the first goal.

"The boy obviously wants to leave. That's a different matter. I'm easy about it. If he stays, I'll be happy. If somebody comes in for him and Dimitar wants to leave, we'll assess it."

Sir Alex also spoke about new boy Shinji Kagawa, who clocked up only a few minutes in his first appearance since arriving from Borussia Dortmund. The Japanese star would have had more, had the ball gone out of play sooner.

"I never thought the boy was going to come on!" said Sir Alex. "He must have been standing on the touchline for 10 minutes. The ball never seemed to go out when we wanted it to! He only came on because of Chicharito having cramp. But I think he'll probably start on Saturday."

As for the game itself, the boss was pleased with the positives after a physically-challenging match in Durban.

"We're satisfied," he added. "We always like to win our first game. It was a good work-out for us. In the second half, I thought AmaZulu increased their aggression and got closer to us, making it more difficult.

"In general, we showed some signs of tiredness towards the end, but we expect that in the first game of the tour. We

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