United Look To Slash Transfer Record For Sneijder
14 July 2011, 09:30
If Manchester United want to get their hands on Wesley Sneijder they'll have to pull out all the stops.
According to Inter Milan technical director Marco Branca they'll have to smash their club transfer record.
Fergie wants to replace Scholes with Sneijder but will have to offer more than the record £30.75 million paid for Dimitar Berbatov.]
He's contracted to the Inter side until 2015, they're said to want more than £40 million for the star.
Inter though aren't looking to sell him, Branca said:
'Sneijder is absolutely non-transferable. I signed his letter to be called up for pre-season training and our intention is not to sell any of our champions.
'However, if mega-galactic offers were to arrive, we would discuss them, but right now that is not the case.'
Meanwhile boss Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Antonio Valencia has flown back to England and will play no part in the club's pre-season tour of the United States.
It was unlikely Valencia would have been involved anyway given he has been on Copa America duty with Ecuador.
However, a nasty ankle injury sustained in his country's opening match means the winger will play no further part.
And, whilst he does not believe the problem is serious, Ferguson is taking no chances and has told the player to head back to United's training complex for treatment.
'Antonio has gone straight back to Manchester,' said Ferguson after the 4-1 win over New England Revolution in Boston.
'He got an injury playing in the first game for Ecuador so he is back in Manchester.
'It is nothing serious but he wasn't going to be taking part in the rest of Copa America, so there is no point in him coming out here if he is injured.
'We have the facilities back at Carrington. That is the best place for him.'
It was a long-term ankle injury last season that persuaded Ferguson to head into the transfer market this summer to secure a reinforcement.
The chosen man, Ashley Young, made his debut in front of 51,000 at the Gillette Stadium, producing a number of decent crosses from his wide role and showing enough signs to suggest he will have no problem settling into his new surroundings.
'That was his position until last season when they started playing him behind the strikers in a more advanced role, like the way we use Wayne Rooney,
'His capabilities are such that he can play at wide left, he can play in behind the strikers and he can play wide right.
'He showed tonight he's a fantastic crosser of the ball. I think he hit three fantastic crosses in the game, which maybe isn't something we're used to with the way we play.
'But if we do get used to it then there's goals there. I was very satisfied.'
After a goalless first half, Michael Owen broke the deadlock just after the break.
Teenage striker Federico Macheda added two more, with Park Ji-sung wrapping up a comfortable win.
United now head to Seattle for a week-long stay, being joined by chief executive David Gill on Friday.
Gill was at a European Club Association meeting in Zurich yesterday, which would have provided an opportunity to speak with Inter Milan about the possibility of signing Wesley Sneijder.
The Old Trafford outfit rejected suggestions Gill had flown on from Switzerland to Milan in an attempt to thrash out a deal.
There is nevertheless a growing feeling Sneijder is Old Trafford-bound although, with Gill now heading across the Atlantic, any transfer may not be completed for a little while yet.
Whilst a 4-1 win cannot in itself be used as a guide for what is to come, at least it provides an alternative talking point to the destruction by Barcelona at Wembley in May.
Chatter will doubtless begin again when the Red Devils conclude their five-match tour in Washington on July 30, when the imperious Catalans provide the opposition.
And striker Wayne Rooney's looking to the future of the club.
The striker reckons it's time to look forward, not back at Manchester United's Champions League misery.
Rooney played the first 45 minutes of United's opening United States tour game against New England Revolution.
However, for now, Rooney prefers not to look over his shoulder.
'You have to draw a line under what happened at Wembley,
'You have to look forward, not back. We need to look at the trophies we will be competing for and hopefully by the end of next season, we will have some silverware.'
Few would seriously consider Rooney to be one of the men at risk due to the large number of strikers at manager Sir Alex Ferguson's disposal.
However, with Michael Owen and Federico Macheda both getting their names on the scoresheet, Dimitar Berbatov pledging to regain the form that saw his grab a share of last season's Golden Boot and Danny Welbeck and Gold Cup top scorer Javier Hernandez due to fly in later in the month, opportunities may be scarce.
Rooney views that situation as a positive.
'Competition is good, It keeps everyone on their toes.
'It is exciting to have so many strikers. It means everyone will have to be on top of their game to keep their place in the team.'
Ferguson also has another option in new boy Ashley Young, who was deployed in a wide role on his debut but has appeared in a central position for England.
Young is evidently just getting to know his new team-mates following his £17million move from Aston Villa last month.
But Rooney is aware enough of the quality Young can produce to be sure he will be a success.
'Ashley has settled in well,
'Everyone knows what Ashley is capable of. He put some excellent crosses in tonight and we are looking forward to playing a few more games with him.
'We have an exciting young team now. Hopefully we can bring more success to the club.'