World Cup finalist with Holland, Champions League winner with Inter Milan, League Titles won in Italy and Spain – all of which Wesley Sneijder was an integral part of – why wouldn’t any of the world’s leading clubs be emptying their bank accounts to sign this midfield magician?
He is no stranger to hopeful Manchester United fans in the past, and his name has once again been thrown into the Red Devil’s ever-overflowing transfer rumour cauldron for a potential move in the forthcoming January transfer window.
With his current club Inter finishing a lowly sixth in Serie A last season, 26 points behind eventual Champions Juventus and missing out on a crucial Champions League spot, the 28-year-old Holland captain would have been forgiven for desiring a new challenge elsewhere, having won everything possible in Italy. However, here are three reasons why last season’s Premier League runners-up may just call time on their pursuit of the gifted play-maker…
- High wage contract
The times are hard in terms of money for most, including United, and having recently signed Robin van Persie to match the astronomical wages of Wayne Rooney’s reported £250,000 per week contract, it is unlikely the Glazer’s will want to splash out on a player with similar demands. Already on a top salary as it is at Inter, any slight chance of this high-profile transfer happening will depend on Sneijder’s willingness to accept a pay cut.
- Long-standing feud with Van Persie
If there were any fans positive that at some point both Sneijder and Manchester United would become a team, then surely their hopes would have been dashed as soon as the headline ‘Van Persie signs for United’ was confirmed. The two simply don’t like each other.
According to reports this quarrel between the pair began with a heavy challenge in training by Van Persie during Euro 2008. Then, in the same competition, a quarter-finals match against Russia, they were seen squabbling over a free-kick. Van Persie eventually stepped up to take it and missed, with Holland ultimately losing the match.
Apparently the two didn’t speak to each other for a long time after, and in the subsequent months the bickering began via the media, both claiming that THEY were/should have been the designated free-kick takers.
The grudge has continued until today, and although there was no noticeable tension in the 2010 World Cup or Euro 2012 between the two – perhaps biting their tongues for a few matches each year – the question is, would they be able to handle working with each other on a day-to-day basis? Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole managed it all those years ago at United!
From the two above points, it is clear that Sneijder is someone who (perhaps rightly) thinks very highly of himself and is not afraid to voice his opinions. Although not a ‘trouble-maker’ as such, he does like to be the main man in the team, and with all the problems Sir Alex Ferguson has encountered with Wayne Rooney over the past few years, would he risk spoiling a clearly enjoyable atmosphere around Old Trafford? Above all, as mentioned Sneijder would probably have to take a pay cut, and surely would not accept being on an inferior wage package than his old chum Van Persie!
It has long been said that United need to sign someone world-class to replace the ageing Paul Scholes and to finally fix the centre midfield issue – with the likes of Carrick, Fletcher, Cleverley, Anderson and Powell just lacking that special something. As a footballer he would be perfect – despite injury and form troubles this season so far – but from the issues discussed, is it about time United moved on and focused their interests on to someone else?