The battle is on for Dimitar Berbatov with a clutch of clubs ready to test Sir Alex Ferguson’s resolve to keep the Reds’ £30.75m record buy.
Berbatov, last season’s joint Golden Boot winner, scored 21 goals in all but the bulk of the 20 Premier League strikes that won him his prestigious award came before spring.
His personal campaign faltered in the run-in as the Reds boss favoured Javier Hernandez.
And the season ended in bitter disappointment for the Bulgarian when he was left out of Fergie’s 18-man squad for the Champions League final against Barcelona.
A host of sides saw that Wembley snub as a signal the 30-year-old’s days were numbered at Old Trafford.
But Fergie has not been chasing a new striker this summer and would be reluctant to lose a 20-goal-a-season hitman.
United, though, haven’t exercised the option in the initial contract drawn up in 2008 when he joined from Spurs that would allow them to extend his deal for another year after 2012.
French side Paris St Germain, backed by oil-rich new owners from Qatar and with new manager Leonardo at the helm, are keen on Berbatov’s style.
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund also believe, having proved himself in the Bundesliga with former club Bayer Leverkusen, that he could add to their goal output.
AC Milan are also on the look-out and could be ready to test the water.
However, Berbatov’s agent insists there has been no movement yet for his client and says he wants to stay at Old Trafford.
“There is no news because we have not heard anything from anyone,” said Emil Dantchev.
“After we speak to Manchester United, we will know more but now he is very happy to be a Manchester United player."
But talks have yet to take place at Old Trafford over Berbatov’s future.
The player himself vowed at the end of the season he was ready to fight on - despite his Champions League omission.
“I will stay,” he said. “I will fight for the 20th title. If I were an easy quitter, I would never have made it this far. Everything at Manchester United starts from scratch for me on July 4.”
Meanwhile, United have set in motion plans to allow young striker Joshua King to leave the club on loan.
The Norwegian is bound for Borussia Monchengladbach. The German club’s sporting director Max Eberl said: “We have an agreement with Manchester United for a loan of one year.
“The contracts must be translated and checked, that’s now going back and forth between lawyers of the two clubs. Our goal is to have him in next Monday.”