Sneijder Says Manchester United Move Still On


Wesley Sneijder has left the door open to his proposed move to Manchester United by admitting that "there is always a chance something will happen". The Internazionale midfielder is the player Sir Alex Ferguson wants at Old Trafford to replace the retired Paul Scholes and it has emerged that United have sounded him out over personal terms.

Ferguson was quoted on Sunday as saying: "If he [Sneijder] wants to come, he must accept our contract offer. If not, we have other options in mind. We're done talking." The Scot has since denied making those remarks but Gian Piero Gasperini, the Inter manager, acknowledged that "there has been an offer [to Sneijder]".

Sneijder is rated at £35m and his weekly wage stands at almost £250,000, making it difficult for any club in the world to afford him. He played in his team's 3-0 friendly defeat by Manchester City in Dublin and when he spoke afterwards he was relaxed about the eventualities.

"I have been at the highest level for 10 years and there are always speculations but look, I am still here. I am always happy. I am a happy guy. I am happy to train every day with my colleagues and play my games for the fans and everyone at the club. And whatever happens after that, we will see. There is always a chance something will happen but we will see," Sneijder said.

Gasperini was equally laid-back about the situation, although he did point out that any contact from United in relation to Sneijder ought to come directly to the club. He sounded a note of defiance when he said that, if the Holland international were to leave, it would be on Inter's terms. "I appreciate that there has been an offer but it's with Inter that the negotiations should take place," Gasperini said.

"I'm not necessarily worried because it's normal in this period of time to live these type of situations. The market is open until 31 August, so we expect this to be happening until then. It's not just Inter Milan, it's the same for other big clubs where big, important players are the object of desire for a lot of clubs. When big clubs have this type of player, they tend to keep them or, if they do sell them, they sell them at their own conditions."

Gasperini, who has also seen Samuel Eto'o linked with Manchester City, possibly as part of a swap deal with Carlos Tevez, said that it was normal for "these type of players to get different offers and be part of certain negotiations. But as far as I know, both Sneijder and Eto'o are contracted to Inter Milan and belong to Inter Milan. I am not flustered. We live detached from everything else that is being said outside of the pitch. Players focus on their games. There is a lot of talk but we also know that when there is a concrete decision to be taken, it is taken very quickly."

The City manager, Roberto Mancini, said it was "possible" Craig Bellamy could move to Celtic on loan, following talks between the clubs, while Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz would also be allowed to leave. "Adebayor wants to go to Real Madrid and if they want to take him, they can. We have four top strikers and it is really difficult [for the others]. Manu needs to play and I would be happy for him to go back to Real Madrid. I hope he can go back there," Mancini said.

Exclusively by David Hytner

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