United boss Ferguson plays down Sneijder interest

15 July 2011 10:33
Sir Alex Ferguson has indicated that Manchester United may revive their interest in Wesley Sneijder if Inter Milan compromise on his ?35million valuation and the Holland midfielder lowers his personal demands.

Senior Old Trafford figures denied any interest in Sneijder on Thursday but it remains clear that United want the 27-year-old to replace Paul Scholes if the right deal can be struck.

On the ball: Inter midfielder Wesley Sneijder prepares for a friendly match in Pinzolo, northern Italy on Thursday

However, Inter's asking price and Sneijder's refusal to accept less than ?190,000-a-week are proving prohibitive, and Ferguson acknowleged as much after United landed in Seattle on Thursday night.

Asked about the possibility of signing Sneijder, he said: 'I couldn't tell you, I've not really been involved in it since we've come across here.

'The situation is there's no interest at this moment time in Wesley Sneijder for a lot of reasons but there's nothing I can tell you about it.'

The major stumbling block appears to be Sneijder's wage demands and the possible unrest it could cause among senior players at Old Trafford like Wayne Rooney.

Such was then-Inter coach Jose Mourinho's determination to see off competition from Bayern Munich for Sneijder, when Real Madrid made him available in 2009, that the 27-year-old was awarded a ?250,000-a-week contract.

After almost losing Rooney last season, before finally securing his future on improved terms of around ?220,000 a week, the last thing Ferguson needs is any further disruption from his prize asset over relative earnings.

Watching brief: Sir Alex Ferguson wants the Dutch ace to replace Paul Scholes

Sportsmail understands that word of United's interest in Sneijder reached his agent Soren Lerby at least six weeks ago and ways of bringing his weekly pay into line with Rooney's without significantly affecting his overall income have been explored.

The talks are believed to have centred on making up any shortfall through image rights, signing-on fees and commercial deals that could involve Nike, who are heavily involved with Sneijder and have been United's kit suppliers for nearly a decade.

Although Inter claimed that the Dutchman is not for sale and the player has stated he is happy in Milan, sources close to the deal insist there is a better than even chance of United landing their next major target and taking their summer spending beyond ?80m.

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Source: Daily_Mail