Sunday, May 8, 2011

Get me Wesley! Ferguson tells United's owners: £30m deal for Sneijder is up to you

Sir Alex Ferguson will land his top summer target, Inter Milan’s £30million Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder, if Manchester United’s owners, the Glazer family, agree to bankroll the deal.
‘It’s up to the owners now,’ said an Old Trafford insider. ‘Sir Alex wants the player — it’s just a matter of agreeing to the wage demands.’
Even though victory over Chelsea will virtually guarantee a record 19th title for United, Ferguson is already planning for next season.
And Sneijder, 26, is the manager’s first choice as

The big stumbling block to any deal is the Holland World Cup star’s £170,000-a-week San Siro wages.
Because of Britain’s high tax rates, United would need to dig deep — far exceeding what they pay top earner Wayne Rooney — to match Sneijder’s current net earnings.
That places the ball firmly in the court of the Florida-based Glazers, who came up with the cash after Rooney’s shock transfer plea last October. He quickly withdrew the request after the Glazers’ intervention saw his wages hiked to £200,000 a week.

Signing Sneijder would be Ferguson’s biggest move in the market since the £30.75m deal that took Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov to Old Trafford from Tottenham on transfer deadline day in 2008.
Inter will demand £40m after Sneijder, who last year won the European Cup, Serie A title and Coppa Italia with the club as well as reaching the World Cup Final with Holland, signed a five-year deal only six months ago.
But it is understood the player and his celebrity wife Yolanthe want to move to England and that Sneijder is attracted to United, meaning the Italian club are likely to agree to the sale.

The UK’s 50 per cent tax rate for high earners will not be the only problem, however. The tax authorities have launched a major crackdown on footballers’ image rights deals, which clubs once utilised to pay players’ extra fees that avoided higher-rate tax.
Manchester City have also expressed an interest in Sneijder and would have fewer problems meeting his wages, although United are believed to be his club of choice.
The Old Trafford hierarchy are investigating how they could top up Sneijder’s wages with corporate sponsorship deals linked to the club, with the player and his wife both keen to maximise their exposure

Yolanthe, who married Sneijder shortly after last year’s World Cup final, is an actress as well as a TV presenter in Holland and is looking to launch a career in Britain and the United States, making the Premier League a natural destination for the couple.
If the Glazers agree to match Sneijder’s wages it will go some way to answering complaints of Manchester United fans who have wanted to see big-money deals following the £80m sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid two years ago.
It was the simultaneous arrival of Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema that led to former Ajax favourite Sneijder being shipped out of the Bernabeu to Inter.