Hot on the heels of Sneijder’s statements claiming that he is happy in Italy and would stay there unless the club sold him, come rumours that the midfielder is moving closer to a San Siro exit. The destination is reported to be firm favourites, Manchester United, who have identified the versatile Dutchman as their main target to replace Paul Scholes. Inter Milan value their star asset at around £35m, while Sneijder himself has hinted time and again at a possible move to the Premier League, with Old Trafford being his favoured destination.
While Sir Alex Ferguson is still to submit a formal bid for the midfielder, statements from both camps over the past few days seem to indicate that a flurry of activity is taking place behind the scenes. With Inter’s new coach admitting ‘anything could happen in the next 50 days’ and with Macheda now tweeting about Sneijder joining United on their pre-season tour, the deal seems all but done.“United have increased their interest over the past 48 hours. The clubs are now in talks, but they will have to agree a fee,” a source close to the discussions said. “Inter know his value, so they are aiming for £35m, £30m at a push. They are ready to sell him, but only under their economic conditions. He is not a player they consider unsellable. The next move is down to United. If they satisfy Inter’s requests, then Sneijder will be playing for United next season.”
Smeijder is said to be interested in a move to Old Trafford in order to add to his impressive collection of medals which includes the La Liga, Serie A and Dutch Eredivisie titles in addition to a Champions League winners’ medal with Inter. “He knows he would have better chances of winning things at Manchester United compared to Inter, especially on the international front,” the source continued. “Sneijder is intrigued by the Premier League and he wants to try a new experience there. He can speak fluent English and so he would have no problems settling down.”
Sneijder seems to have learnt from the fans’ reaction to public outburst and forced moves by players such as Tevez, Rooney and Torres among others and is therefore unwilling to push for a transfer in the public eye. “Wesley is trying to make it seem that it was Inter who wanted to sell him, rather than have people thinking he was the one who wanted to leave. At the moment he does not want to say much as he doesn’t want to upset the Inter fans. But if Inter and United reach an agreement, then he would be delighted to join them. He said he would be sorry to leave Inter, but in reality he would not be sorry. Sneijder is not pushing to leave, but neither is he against an exit.”
The source also went on to speak about how new Inter coach, Gian Piero Gasperini, does not consider Sneijder to be essential to the cluband would probably be better off investing the transfer fees received to bolster the weaker areas of the squad. “Thirty-five million is enough to convince Moratti to sell Sneijder, and he will then spend part of the money for a top left-back, as Gasperini wants a player for this position.”
Sir Alex Ferguson, having already signed David de Gea, Phil Jones and Ashley Young will be looking to wind up his transfer market activity for this summer pretty quick. Having conceded that Nasri had probably agreed to a deal with another club, the United manager said he still hoped to bring in a creative midfielder to plug the gap left by the departure of Scholes. “If we can get a player along similar lines in terms of the quality of his passing and vision, then yes we’d have to do something,” he said. With the retirement of Edwin Van der Sar, it looks like there could be a new Dutch star on the horizon for Manchester United.