It was the most over-hyped and ultimately boring speculation of the summer . Would Manchester United dig deep into their pockets and buy the Dutch, goal-scoring midfielder? Could they even afford him? Did he want to go? Every day the papers whipped up a new angle to the story which turned out to be something and nothing. Would his wife like England? Would his dog reject the food? There were so many questions and so few solid answers.
Wesley Sneijder himself eventually alluded to the move and seemingly suggested that it would appeal to him. His club, Inter, were still suffering a hangover from the Mourinho years and, at 27, it seemed like the last chance the player had to sample another top European league. But when it became clear that Wesley Sneijder was being paid around £250,000 a week at Inter one began to sense that the deal might be a little too rich for Manchester United – a club saddled with hundreds of millions of pounds worth of debt. A transfer fee of £30M plus and wages of around £13m per year seemed extortionate and too big a gamble, even for such a proven, world-class talent.
Step up Manchester City. In these days of the mercenary footballer, it now seems more likely that Wesley Sneijder will curb his apparent affection for Manchester United and instead end up at moneybags Manchester City. Sneijder could well be tempted by Middle Eastlands and City could certainly afford him. Quite how they would shoe-horn yet another creative superstar into their team is a different matter – and the nicest of problems to have. With a full complement, Manchester City possess a bevvy of the finest midfield talent in the world. But with Yaya Toure away on international duty City may well look to add another big hitter to their ranks in order to bolster their Premier League ambitions – recent performances have certainly been less impressive. It would be yet another bitter pill to swallow for Manchester United fans who were whipped up into a Sneijder frenzy in the summer months.
What makes this deal more likely is the fact that Inter Milan have publicly stated their desire to bring Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez to the club. Inter’s financial limitations have been well documented in the last year and they would surely be more likely to afford Tevez if they could offload Sneijder as part of the deal.
It seems then that Manchester City and Roberto Mancini only have to click their fingers to recruit another of the world’s finest footballers. Where will it all end? Perhaps with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in tandem up front? Or maybe the Sheikh will find a way to reverse the effects of ageing and bring Maradona back to the boil? Frightening…..