All of a sudden United have found themselves making—would you believe it—headline news in the transfer market. And what’s more, we have actually put in a bid—reported at around £29m—for Wesley Sneijder.
Inter president, Massimo Moratti, has confirmed this.
Moratti has also moved to say that he intends to keep Sneijder at the club longer, by opening contract talks with the Dutchman.
There are several reasons why I believe this transfer won’t happen. First of all, Sneijder has been key to Inter’s success last season, helping them to a domestic treble. He has been a fabulous bit of business as Inter bought him from Madrid for £12m. Whilst a tidy profit might be tempting, they’d be idiots to sell him after just one season.
Secondly, he’s just having a brilliant world cup. A cliche, and perhaps a little unfair, but with every goal, his value goes up a few notches. He’s in the final now with the Netherlands, and a potential world cup winner. When the likes of Fabregas are valued at £40m, £30m is laughably low for someone of Sneijder’s stature.
Another significant factor is his wages. Currently he’s reported to be earning £3.5m a year after tax. If you factor in taxes (I used a rough estimate based on taxation slabs for Italy) his weekly wages (pre-tax) is approximately 120k. At United, we would have to offer higher wages just to match his current wages—because, remember, in England the taxation rate is higher, at 50%—and we would have to offer him even more than that because Inter are going to try to match that.
So, it’s going to be the coup of Ferguson’s career to pull of a Sneijder deal. Which means, given his rhetoric on “value for money”, we won’t get him.
The other story doing the rounds is of our reported interest in Balotelli, which has also been confirmed by Moratti. Again he maintains he hasn’t received a single bid that’s satisfactory. If reports are to be believed he reckons Balotelli is worth around £30m. [That much money is too much for a world renowned nutcase.] Also: Man City are interested in him, and have put in several ridiculous bids.
So we’ll leave it at that.
There have been stray reports, without much substance of our interest in Ozil. Wonderful player, on evidence of having seen him play in the World Cup. Highly acclaimed by pundits who follow German football, but since I’ve seen him properly only in the World Cup, I won’t have an opinion on him. As for the veracity of this rumour, well, I believe he’s only going to be a back up.
There is also the story that we’re possibly weighing up a bid for Benzema—some reports claiming Berbatov would be off loaded. I’ll believe it when I see it.