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Thursday, August 11, 2011
Sneijder: I’m up for a move! Inter midfielder edges closer to Old Trafford switch
Wesley Sneijder paved the way for a move to Manchester United when he admitted he has spoken to the Premier League champions about a move to Old Trafford.
United have so far been frustrated by Sneijder’s wage demands as they look to add the highly rated midfielder to their squad ahead of the new season. The 27-year-old is asking for more than £200,000 a week, a figure that the champions are unwilling to match.
But it is understood that Sneijder is so desperate to leave Inter Milan that United’s rivals Chelsea and Manchester City have this week been encouraged to bid for him.
And the Dutch international has broken cover and admitted that he is ready to move to England.
Sneijder said: ‘Manchester United haven’t made an official approach yet.
‘But there have been unofficial talks, there have been contacts. But then there are always contacts.
‘The situation is that I am now an Inter player, and chances are that I will still be that come August 31. There is also a chance I could leave.
‘That isn’t really down to me but the club. I think Inter have been very clear: if a good offer comes in, they have to let me go.
‘They don’t want to lose me but there is a chance they will let me go.
‘If something crosses my path, I have enough time to make my decision.’
It is understood that Chelsea and City have both been alerted this week to just how keen Sneijder is to leave Inter.
Sneijder has convinced himself Inter have no chance of closing the gap on rivals AC Milan in Serie A this season after their neighbours won the Italian league by six points last time round. With Inter currently unable to buy new players before they sell, their star asset has decided he has had enough.
Chelsea and City have told go-betweens that they will not sign Sneijder. One source at mega-rich City revealed last night that the combined cost of the transfer would be ‘mind-blowing’, such are Sneijder’s personal demands.
All that remains now is to see whether United — Sneijder’s first choice — can persuade the World Cup finalist to lower his wage demands and allow the transfer to happen. If and when that occurs, negotiations over the fee are expected to be relatively straightforward as Inter need to sell at least one big-money star this summer.
Despite agreeing to pay Wayne Rooney £250,000 a week to stay at United last October, the champions are keen not to follow the example of some of their rivals and allow their wage ceiling to be pushed higher and higher.
United have offered Sneijder a deal that is heavily incentivised but so far that hasn’t been enough to tempt him. They will hope now, though, that Chelsea and City’s expression of zero interest will force his hand.
City will not dramatically increase their bid for Arsenal’s Samir Nasri and will turn back to Fiorentina winger Alessio Cerci if the London club do not relent.
City have already had a £20m bid for Nasri knocked back by Arsenal as Arsene Wenger desperately tries to prevent his squad falling to pieces ahead of the new season.
It is understood that City are not prepared to go much higher for the French forward as they know they could try again in January, by which time the 24-year-old will only have six months left on his Arsenal contract.
City are prepared to pay slightly more for Nasri and remain confident that Wenger’s hand will be forced by an Arsenal board that knows it cannot afford to see Nasri’s value plummet between now and next summer.
However, City will not go to the £25m that has been suggested this week and it is more likely City boss Roberto Mancini will move for Italian winger Cerci, 24, as a stop-gap as he will be considerably cheaper.