Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists Dimitar Berbatov has not been unfairly treated at the club, praising the "fantastic talent" of the striker whom he expects to be involved in their pre-season tour.
The Bulgaria international has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford for several months having fallen down the pecking order last season. There were murmurings of discontent from the 31-year-old, who scored nine times in just 21 appearances in the previous campaign - despite being the league's joint top scorer the year before.
But Ferguson has defended his handling of Berbatov, and he told MUTV: "I don't think I treated Dimitar unfairly but he can feel disappointed that he didn't get more football. He's a fantastic footballer. It wasn't a great season for him last season, partly because I settled more with Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck...and Chicharito (Javier Hernandez)."
He added: "He's a fantastic talent. Nothing has happened with Dimitar and he'll join the tour to South Africa and China."
United's pre-season tour begins with two games in South Africa against AmaZulu FC and Ajax Cape Town before they move on to China to face Shanghai Shenhua, Norway where they will play Valerenga, Sweden to take on Barcelona and finishing in Germany against Hannover 96.
The travelling party has yet to be confirmed - as have shirt numbers for the majority of United's squad.
Only three have been confirmed so far with winger Antonio Valencia requesting the iconic seven shirt - worn by club greats such as George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo - after it became available following Michael Owen's departure when his contract expired this summer.
New signings Nick Powell and Shinji Kagawa will wear 25 and 26 respectively. There could be some new additions to that squad list, however, as Ferguson is working on bringing in at least a couple more players before the start of the season.
When asked if he is hoping to make further signings Ferguson added: "Yes, there's a possibility. We're working on one or two things but there's nothing really to tell you to be honest.
"We always try to get our work done at the end of the season - we spent a good deal of time sorting the deal with Shinji and we'd agreed a deal with Nick Powell before the play-offs which was a good move by us because the boy had an outstanding final at Wembley."
Updated 03/07/2012 18:17:18