Monday 20 November 2017

Sneijder has 'chance' of joining United with Inter exit not ruled out

Rory Smith and Mark Ogden

Wesley Sneijder last night opened the door to a move to Manchester United, refusing to guarantee he would remain at Inter Milan beyond the close of the transfer window.

He also admitted that "there is a chance" he could complete a £35m switch to Old Trafford.

Both United and Inter confirmed over the weekend that the Dutchman is Alex Ferguson's preferred heir to Paul Scholes, with the Scot quoted as saying "he must accept our offer" if he wishes to join the club and suggesting United "were done talking". Inter manager Gian Piero Gasperini admitted yesterday that "there has been an offer" but insisted negotiations had yet to take place with his club.

Sneijder's comments will do little to discourage mounting speculation that he would welcome a move away from his current club.

Asked if he would be happy to remain in Milan for the rest of the season, the Dutch international answered evasively: "I am always happy."

He responded equally enigmatically when asked whether a move to United is possible, saying: "There is always a chance something will happen, but we will see." He added: "Would I like to play in England? I have played in many big competitions, in Holland, Spain and now Italy.

Speculation

"There is always speculation. I have played at the top level for 10 years and there has always been speculation, but it is just that."

United in recent weeks appear to have hardened in their stance towards Sneijder -- one of three potential replacements for Scholes, together with Luka Modric and Samir Nasri -- given the cost of signing a player who, at 27, has a much-reduced resale value.

Along with Inter's premium valuation of the player, Sneijder has made it clear he will not take a pay cut to his current £190,000-a-week wages in Italy.

"When we get back from tour, we will be in to the office and we will sit down and assess it with Alex (Ferguson) and his coaches," said United's chief executive, David Gill, who will meet the Scot this morning in an attempt to map out the club's strategy for the final month of the transfer window. "I don't want to talk about specifics, but it's clear to say that in order to get into the United team you have to be a top-class player and those are the sort of players that we want.

"There are not many around and, if they are around, they may not be available, partly because of the contractual situation for themselves or the views of the club.

"You never know what will happen. I've been around long enough to know that things can change quite quickly in football." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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