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On Sneijder, Balotelli, Ozil et al…

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.



  1. Grognard

    18 July 2010 at 20:25

    @Johnsom33: I bought and read ‘Inverting the Pyramid’ well over a year ago. Yes a very interesting book but I have to disagree with your belief regarding more well rounded players up front. Problem with having players up front that can do everything is that they usually cannot do one thing with exquisite ease. That one thing is score goals for fun.

    A true goal poaching striker has a gift that few player s are born with. It’s a special little radar in their head that tells them where in the box they need to be to get a good crack at goal. That 6th sense is invaluable and it belongs to the greatest strikers the game has known. Funnily enough, these strikers are all old school strikers, and not your Rooney, Tevez, Messi types. All great players are prone to going cold at times or are struggling to find form when it comes to scoring goals. Problem is they have to much on their plate whereas a goal poacher only has scoring goals on his plate. His job is easy because what he does he does very well but because his sixth sense and his quick feet and agile head have made scoring easy for him. Gerd Mueller was never bogged down having to track way back and having to pick up the ball at midfield and run at defenders. RVN, Huntelaar, Inzaghi, are old world strikers who if given a role that simple on a team score for fun. But today that role is being systematically eliminated because coaches favour those workaholic type strikers who go all over the place and who multi task. What a waste of time and space.

    The game is not about art or style or gamesmanship or chess, it’s about placing the ball in the old onion bag. Something modern day strategists and part Time waiters who call themselves coaches have forgotten about the simplest game. Which reminds me of an old book written by Paul Gardner over 30 years ago which for me is the true bible to understanding and loving the modern game. It;s titled ‘The Simplest Game’. Very similar to the Pyramid book but so much more about what the game should be as opposed to what it is.

    I have no problem with players who can multi-function. Good for them. But I miss the old specialists too. The one who did very little out there except score goals with relative ease. Perhaps the rest of the players and coaches should once again count on such players and learn how to cross a ball again and provide regular service which for me is the real art form that is dying in today’s game. The game is about width and getting around your opponent instead of containment and poking small holes through it. The sooner managers figure this out, the sooner the great game will once again become attractive to look at.

  2. Owen

    18 July 2010 at 21:00

    Sad day for Man Utd :

    Newcastle United win the race to sign free Sol Campbell 🙄


    18 July 2010 at 21:51

    @Owen: FUCK!!!! 😐 😐 😐 😐

  4. Owen

    18 July 2010 at 22:11

    Is it the first time at RedRants that any topic had more than 750 comments
    and it lasted for more than 2 weeks?

  5. Owen

    18 July 2010 at 22:47

    Manchester United are ready to launch a raid for Bayern Munich full-back Philipp Lahm, with the German giants ready to consider offers.

    It seems Bayern are willing to do the business for 15 million + Park.Evra’s future remains uncertain as Madrid have expressed strong interest in him.Also Evra sold his house last week.Lahm will ideally occupy the right back slot and O’Shea will move to the left back.

  6. tonymontanna4united

    18 July 2010 at 22:48

    @Grognard: I like your idea of an elite league in england mate. I have said for many years too much of the set up in this country is towards the smaller teams. Its just england as a whole maybe, we are always encouraged to support the underdog, winning and losing isnt important as long as the underdog does his best has a good time of it.
    We just seem to have a mentality to hate the best, to hope one day the champ goes down in this country for some reason, probably the reason united are so hated i guess.
    I actually believe the 90 minute rule was only introduced so that it allowed an opportunity for the small clubs to get some of the kids of the future in, sell them on thus making some money for a change helpng the minnows get stronger and make a few quid for once.
    Simply too much rules are there solely to help the little teams, i mean the tv deals show that. We are not allowed our own tv deal simply because then it would leave the hulls of this world in the shits because nobody would subscribe to their tv network.
    So what do the FA do, well we all receive the same so to them manchester united deserve the same tv money as hull or blackpool even though we must bring in over 50% of the entire viewing figures from abroard, probably more.
    An elite league would probably allow us to bring in our own tv deal, although i wouldnt advise it now with the glazers around. In time though could you imagine the sort of money we would make with our own tv deal. Madrid i think make nearly £100m a year from theirs, and i would imagine we would better that.
    Still though its a pipe dream mate, the FA love to see the nobodies come up each year only to go right back down again. To them a burnley or a blackpool are just as deserving of their place in the league and their share of the money as an elite team such as us and that is just so wrong.
    I have said it before and ill say it again, manchester united is the only reason the english premier league is the most popular in the world, the only reason. The FA though think differently but im sure theyll see how bad the league goes down if one terrible day we go under.

  7. Redrich

    19 July 2010 at 01:35

    @Owen: No more comments from me until a somebody bothers to to start a new thread.

    Just a new header RR, or something to get the pages loaded faster.

    Please!! 🙂

  8. [OPTI]Madschester United

    19 July 2010 at 01:45

    @Owen: I have seen 800+ on one RR thread last year or two years ago…
    @Redrich: +1. Let’s get some new thread up… even a “cont.” thread is appreciated.

    Take care

  9. Will

    19 July 2010 at 13:30

    Any chance of a new post RR? this ones getting ridiculously long.

  10. Traverse

    19 July 2010 at 14:04

    Joe Cole has signed for Liverpool. Feel like we’ve missed a trick on this one.

  11. Traverse

    19 July 2010 at 14:33

    @ROOOOONEY: I’m amazed by the Balotelli talk. We are DESPERATE for a creative midfielder. £25mil woudl buy Ozil. Why would we offer that for a pain in the arse strker when we’ve just signed a young striker who shone at the World Cup, and have Welbeck and Macheda filling the young striker role.

    Rooney, Berbatov, Hernandez, Owen, Welbeck, Macheda. Where does Balotelli fit in there? Behind Hernandez?

    Fletcher, Carrrick, Scholes, Giggs, Anderson, Gibson. Where does Ozil fit in there? Before Fletcher.

  12. RMJ

    19 July 2010 at 14:52

    @Traverse: if this happened last year, i would agree with you, but joe cole of late has no feet for a winger anymore and as a result got no love from capello despite playing well in the games he did play

  13. Grognard

    19 July 2010 at 15:54

    @Owen: FUCK! I don’t know how much more of this disappointment I can take. 😉 😉 😀 😀

  14. Grognard

    19 July 2010 at 15:56

    @Owen: We’ve been into the thousands before mate. But probably not for as long a period. RR must be very busy or just bored to death to bother. I have heard rumours flying around lately that he may actually have a life. If so, we must join forces and make sure this kind of insolence ceases. 😉 😉 😀 😀

  15. colver

    19 July 2010 at 16:00

    There is no point signing Balotelli. With Fergie’s Berba love and our system of playing with one up top, he’d get hardly any games, and sulk.
    Im happy with our striker situation. We have all these young strikers such as Macheda, Hernandez and they need games.

    What we need is a goalscoring midfielder to take the pressure off our strikers. Sneijder would have been perfect but we had our chance last season and Fergie blew it. Ozil would be a decent alternative as would Gourcuff or even Diego (but a bit of a gamble).

  16. colver

    19 July 2010 at 16:02

    Also we dont need Joe Cole. He will get injured and his wage bill is ridiculous. Im actually glad we didnt sign him because it might mean we are still in the market for a midfielder.

  17. Grognard

    19 July 2010 at 16:04

    @Owen: Actually mate, if we get Lahm I think Fergie will place him back at the LB slot because he still will want to play Rafael a lot as well as Neville (for god knows what reason). Lahm himself prefers LB and if the rumours about Evra are to be believed, well it seems to make sense that going after Lahm now as opposed to 2 years ago is a point of necessity, not convenience. Just when I started to get used to the Skinned Sausage, he starts to imitate Vidic and want out? I thought he was all about United loyalty and loved it here? But the allure of Madrid and Barca may be too much for his pea sized little mind to handle. I actually prefer us keeping him and Lahm staying in Bayern. I love Lahm and want him to stay with my German outfit because of the instability at United. In fact I want no United players going to Bayern (especially Park or Anderson) and I want none coming to United. There are plenty of stars around the world to chooses from that both my teams don’t need to be raiding each other’s rosters. And for those questioning my loyalty again, UP YOURS!

  18. Owen

    19 July 2010 at 16:15

    Shocking News :

    Torres wants Man Utd move but fears Fergie cant afford him.

    other news:

    1.Fabiano ends hopes of Man United
    2.Manchester City closing in on swoop for £35m Balotelli
    3.Arsenal’s hopes of signing Germany World Cup sensation Mesut Ozil have been boosted

  19. Grognard

    19 July 2010 at 16:55

    @tonymontanna4united: I can see both sides of the argument. Problem is that in this day and age and with the ever increasing burden placed on teams by the modern market and it’s instability, more and more small teams will cease to exist and with them some big teams will learn to become small teams.

    Whenever I bring this subject up on this blog I immediately get this anti-American anti-North American sports verbal diarrhea sprayed back at me. English have a bug up their ass about anything American. As if it’s polluted, corrupt or just evil. But if you look at their models, their four major sports leagues are all healthy and most of the teams make money. The one real exception are a few NHL teams playing in hockey cold zones like Phoenix and Florida which challenge my argument.

    It’s time to start treating the best of England as elite and what I mean by this is separating the big cities and largest footballing communities from the pretenders and ma and pop sized teams. Enough with the pub teams trying to make it into the Prem. This is why we have the FA Cup. The FA Cup is the most democratic of all tournaments and allows every team from every division to participate. As far as I’m concerned that is it for those small clubs. The do not deserve any more attention than that. I’m tired of communities like Burnley and other small towns feeling it is their right to be in the Prem. No it isn’t. They are not big enough communities, with big enough stadiums or team budgets to make a serious and honest go of it. Lets be realistic for a change. Teams that are in the Prem need to be massive in comparison to Burnley. Stadiums need to be at least big enough to accommodate 40,000 at the very least. And they need to have a population density of supporters that will fill that stadium no matter how well the team is doing.

    London is a big town I guess and so I can see more than one team coming from there. Manchester, Liverpool, and Birmingham are others where multiple teams could exist. I also believe in historical records. I feel it is a shame a team like Leeds Utd is not in the prem. Their stadium is a joke but it’s big enough but their fan base and historical significance is massive. Sam can be said about Newcastle Utd. Yes they are back in the Prem but they need to stay there. They are a big team with a big stadium and again, a massive following.

    I have spoken about slamming the door shut on promotion and relegation but I would be willing to hear compromises. An idea one my friends brought up is using a five year cumulative record for teams in the Championship and for teams in the Prem. If a team does well for five years and is seen to have the best cumulative record over a five year period, then they have earned some respect as well as financial success to be granted promotion. On the other hand if a team in the Prem has continually sucked and has consistently under performed more than any other team, then maybe relegation is what they deserve. If you cannot show improvement over five years, then you don’t deserve to stay up. But that would open the door for only one team to go up and one to go down every five years. Both teams have to really earn for completely different reasons.

    People in England seem to hate the idea of elitism. And yet this is why they struggle as an international power when it comes to football. They like to talk the talk but never do they walk the walk. The FA needs to create an elite league that truly is elite. Keep the 90 minute rule for every team outside of that elite 18 teams but allow the teams of the elite Premier League the freedom to shop the whole country for players. That is the special reward they get for their size and significance. And after you have changed that very restricting rule, then also put a quota on foreign players allowed per first squad. Limit the number of foreigners to 5 for an entire 22 man squad, but allow as many under 21’s as teams can afford for their reserves. This will force teams to sign British talent but also, it will force them to buy young foreign talent in order to get around the home grown issue. I’d rather have a player like Rafael be called a home grown talent and be eligible to play as such rather than a 27 year old who was bought up from Brazil and has taken the job of an Englishman.

    People need to go back and remember that in the late 70’s and right through to the mid 80’s England ruled Europe. Seven European Cups in eight years and this was done with only a few fringe foreign players on any of the rosters of Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa. How were they able to tame the Madrid’s, Barcelona’s, Milan’s, Juventius’ Hamburg’s and Bayern’s of the time? On team play, tenacity, courage, determination and just plain out working the Europeans with good old fashioned 4-4-2 style English football. Europe never had an answer for it. None of these teams had the superstars the foreign teams had. They faced the likes of Platini, Rummenigge, Keegan (while with Hamburg), Breitner and many more over those years and beat them all. Yes it was a different tournament then but the bottom line is English teams were conquering Europe’s elite year after year.

    So before people start crying about the fact English teams are no longer good enough I say this, they aren’t, but they could be once again. England needs to get their act together. They need to step on the main clubs like Arsenal especially and demand that they sign more local talent. They need to go back to the grass roots level and start changing the rules about who can sign who. They need to start looking for gold in their back yard rather than be forced by stupid rules to search abroad. The UK has always been a football factory that played the game in their own unique and often overly arrogant way. But they used to succeed doing it this way. Give the elite teams the chance to build with local talent and stop the influx of too much foreign talent which is stunting the growth and potential of these young local lads. It will take time and some failure for a few years but eventually England will start to look the way Germany is looking today. Teams with foreign players but teams with strong and large German talent pools. Which reminds me. Loosen the immigration laws the way Germany has and England will have even more players to choose for their clubs and national team who can be seen as naturalized Englishman. England has got to get it’s head out of the sand and face facts. Their present setup is the reason for their failure.

    Finally, the creation of an English Super league that was stable and not constantly unstable due to relegations and promotions, would allow the poor clubs tie to build a winner rather than force them to play a negative brand of football in order to prevent relegation. No need to park the bus if you aren’t going anywhere at the end of the season. All teams need more than one year to build on success and move forward. The present system just destroys any chance of this happening. If after five years a team has done nothing to improve, it will be relegated and the team that has fought for five years with consistently good results will get their crack at the big tie, even if that team is small. Five years shows a pattern and a purpose. I have spoken about an elite 18 team league. Hell mates, if it was up to me that league would be only 16 teams playing only 30 games per team. Too many games already and all this congestion with League Cup, FA Cup and Europe has made players in the Prem weary and lacking on the international level. Just how many Prem players were left standing amongst the final 4 of this year’s World Cup? Not many. That should be a clue. Another clue is just how many Prem league players excelled at this year’s World Cup? None really. A sure sign that the league and it’s length and style of physical play is burning out it’s talent. It’s time for radical changes to be made before English football becomes an afterthought in world footballing circles.

  20. Grognard

    19 July 2010 at 17:02

    @Traverse: Mate he is damaged goods and he showed just how much he has slipped by his awful little cameo in the World Cup. A player like that loses a step and it’s all over for him. Add to that a propensity for getting injured and you have an excuse waiting to happen. Fergie already has had to deal with both Owen’s, Hargo and Saha before them and so he really doesn’t need a PR nightmare like Cole blowing up in his face as he goes through another season of not spending real money. It would have been a lose lose situation for Fergie. As soon as Cole gets injured we’d be all over his ass as to why he brought him in instead of spending real money to get a younger and healthier player.

  21. colver

    19 July 2010 at 17:16

    Torres is unfortunately heading the same was as Owen. Way too injury prone.

    Lahm at left back would make great sense. He is much younger than Evra and it makes good business sense to sell Evra while his value is at its peak.

    Although it would be nice to have both Lahm and Evra because I have doubts about Rafael’s fitness, injury proneness and temperament

  22. Owen

    19 July 2010 at 17:38

    It has become too slow.

  23. RMJ

    19 July 2010 at 19:12

    wow i totally missed that we sold Tosic for 8 mils we have no left footed wingers again..sigh i dont think we will see anymore new faces, what a disappointing summer

  24. Stephen

    19 July 2010 at 20:33

    I fear now that we will not sign another player this summer. Fergie has been talking up the potential of great prospects Welbeck, Gibbo, Evans and Macheda.
    If we have to rely on these lads to mount a succesful title campaign next seaon then God give we strength. Evans I have to say a decent player for me a decent squad player and someone who like Wes Brown and O’Shea can “do a job” but is he really the future of our defence? Maybe or maybe not and Smalling well lets see.
    Gibbo is a year older than Ozil, two years older than Thomas Muller and is certainly not in their calibre, yes he has a good shot but on the ball he is at best mechanical and Welbeck for me yes he is 19 but technically looks like the new Paulo Wanchope.
    United have a massive squad, one which is full of in an ideal World “potential” but on the flip side “never will be’s” Obertan, Smalling, Hernandez, Anderson, Gibson, The twins, Evans, Macheda, Possebon, Diouf, De Laet, Welbeck ect.
    Another side of the squad is the “Old Guard” Giggs and Scholes maybe still have something to offer but Gary Neville for me and many should be retired or added to the coaching squad.
    Then there is the “squad players” Wes, O’Shea and Owen all good pro’s but are either injury prone or er injury prone and cannot be relied on and are not what you would want in a Champions League final.
    Then there is the core, Rio great player but for me his back injury will finish him, Vida who quite clearly wants out, Evra is fine if his heart is still at the club, Rooney lets hope last seasons haul was not a one off if it was we are fucked, Berba good player but hasn’t got it mentally to be a tUnited and should be sold, Nani I simply don’t trust him consistantly over the course of a long season, Valencia decent player but not World Class, Carrick a player whi has ability but the agression of a lamb and Fletch a good player but far from great.
    I am sure I have missed people but the fact is we have quantity but not a lot of quality, for me sell the deadwood and never will be’s bring in a new spine with qulaity and winners, not just decent pro’s with good attitudes we need World Class talent.

  25. Owen

    19 July 2010 at 20:46

    @Stephen: But we have Fergie,all time best Manager. 🙄

  26. [OPTI]Madschester United

    19 July 2010 at 21:41

    @Stephen: In other words: You can’t win with kids 😉

  27. Red Ranter

    19 July 2010 at 22:54

    New post up. 🙂

  28. tonymontanna4united

    19 July 2010 at 23:04

    @Stephen: Tbh all this about us having such great kids is just bollocks because to me i dont see alot of quality in most of them. Out of all the kids the only ones i rate and think will definitely make it right now are rafael, fabio, evans and pogba who impresses me. Then theres the maybes like hernandez, macheda, cleverley, smalling, de laet, obertan, petrucci and then thats it. Gibson btw is a player i cant stand and at 23 to still be here is just a joke.
    But at the end of the day theres a lot of ifs and maybes with this group of kids, and on the whole most of them wont make it.
    Tbh i dont think fergie has a lot of faith in them, and only makes these comments so he can come out and say “there is no value but im happy with the squad and we have some great youngsters coming through”.
    And thats all well and good, hes the manager and can maybe see something in some of these kids i dont rate (for example i never thought fletch would make it), but at the end of the day if these kids are so good they need to actually bloody well play some games.
    Whats the use of having them if we play them once a month and leave them to rot on the bench. If fergie rates rafael and macheda and gibson so much throw them in at the deep end and see how they do, or else whats the point of keeping hold of them.

    Now for what its worth alot of them maybe arent ready yet but a few of them are, and the rest that arent wont improve if everytime we go back to the old and keep playing the oldies blocking their progress and this is why all this from fergie is just crap.
    Once the season starts its all back to the old and the kids are back in the reserves where they never move on.
    For example hernandez. He had a decent WC, his confidence will be up yet look for a season in the reserves for him. How is that going to help him.
    Worse thing is were hearing rooney will be rested for the first game of the season, owen is out which leaves us with berba and hernadez and macheda. Newcastle at home i would want us to go with 2 up front and have faith with hernandez or macheda up with berba, but what will we do.
    Well i would bet every penny i have we will go 1 man up top, that man being berba who has proved on several occassions he cannot play there.
    This is where fergie always reverts to his safe and trusted formula. Which in his book is the oldies who are usually past their best, and this is the number 1 reason we will see very few of these kids he hypes up make more than 5/10 appearances next season.
    These kids will never improve fergie until you have some faith and give them a run of games to see what they can do. And if he has no faith in them then he should sell them and let them further their careers elsewhere instead of leaving them to rot in the reserves.

    But your right all this to me just translates as “were not buying anyone else this summer”. Which just adds to the venom i show him and makes him out to be even more of a bare faced liar because it wasnt that long ago he said “we want to bring in one top signing this summer”. Unless hernandez or smalling are that “top signing” then its just another bloody pack of lies im hearing.
    But hey way to go fergie let our team go another season where we dont strengthen. I bet the premier league and the rest of europe are quaking in their boots at the prospect of facing hernandez and smalling added to an already great team eh fergie 🙄

  29. Grognard

    19 July 2010 at 23:28

    @tonymontanna4united: I like you mate because like me you have the courage to say it as it is and to challenge the establishment while throwing pie in the faces of the dreamers those who suffer from delusions of grandeur. Recipe for this season? Same old song, same old dance and same old excuses by Fergie.

  30. tonymontanna4united

    20 July 2010 at 02:01

    @Grognard: Cheers mate, i just call it as i see it as do many others on here, especially you which i totally admire and respect you for my friend, and thats what makes this blog so great. If only some of the fans on the other blogs and who go to OT were clued up like the fans here, the glazers would have been out on their ass long ago.
    War and anarchy til the glazers are gone i say, who’s with me 👿

  31. Grognard

    20 July 2010 at 05:29

    @tonymontanna4united: I only wish the majority of the members of this blog felt about me and my contributions the way you do. It’s not about being liked or being popular but more about the message that I and you are trying to convey. It’s a harsh one but one that needs to be taken seriously. At least you get it and sometimes just getting through to a few people makes it all worth while because it keeps from feeling like my righteous cause is being wasted on the blind and the ignorant. CRY HAVOC…AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR. Cheers mate. 🙂

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