Thursday, 8 July 2010

Sneijder Would Be Nice, But Here's The Truth...

The panes of glass in the transfer window have well and truly been cleaned up for its grand central placing in all football fans' minds when we get the World Cup over and done with this weekend. For us from countries that didn't do so well (ahem...England, Italy, France, etc) it couldn't really come quick enough. We are already drowning in speculation of new players, and eat every morsel of nourishment that is fed to our salivating mouths.

The latest (and biggest for United fans) one that has surfaced is about the alleged impending swoop by our club for Wesley Sneijder.

Now I don't claim to be a mind reader, but when we sold ol Cristiano to those fellas at Madrid, I begged for Sir Alex to sign Sneijder as part of the deal. The Spaniards were willing to let go of him for under £15 million and I just thought it was too good to be true. Even a year ago it was evident that Paul Scholes was slowly edging his way to the knackers yard in the sky, and at that price it was too good to be of course we let him sign for Inter Milan.

Fast forward 12 months on, and the Dutchman has won the treble with a dogmatic Inter team, and is now staring a World Cup final in the face. His value has trebled, and it's fair to say he now sits at the table that was exclusively reserved for Mr Xavi and Mr Ineista. It's not a particularly meteoric rise, as his quality has always been there, but it's been a quick succession from being a very very good footballer to be a truly marquee name.

..and now suddenly United want replace Scholesy.

The press report that United have made a £29 million bid, which is all very nice. But does anyone really think that will make the Italians sell?

I don't. And here is why:

The market now consists of three elements...

At the bottom of the tree lie 99% of all football clubs, from your Athletico Madrids to your Wolfsburgs. From your Aston Villas to your Fiorentinas. Then in the middle lie a hub of teams that are considered 'very good/elite'. We are one of those elite clubs..along with Chelsea, Inter, AC Milan and Barcelona, going through to Arsenal, Liverpool, Juventus and Bayern Munich and ending with the likes of Spurs, Roma and Lyon.

And at the top of the tree lie two teams:

Real Madrid and Manchester City.

Now anyone can distinguish the difference between these two clubs. One is a multiple times European champion, and the other wants to at least play Champions League football! But that's were the comparisons stop. City have already shown their muscle this summer with the signings of Yaya Toure and David Silva...ok they are not marquee names as such, but they are considered as immensely talented. Add a Fernando Torres to this, and God forbid a Nemanja Vidic, and you suddenly have a team capable of winning any club trophy on the planet. City have signalled their intent, and unfortunately they have the bank balance to back it up..

Which leads me back to Sneijder..

If Wesley becomes available there is only two places he is going. Mourinho now holds control at Madrid, and Sneijder is his boy. On the other hand, if Sneijder wishes to become wealthier than his wildest dreams he may well have a chat with Yaya, who has been given a £200k a week contract, and that may well turn his..and his agent's head.

It is folly to believe that any footballer would turn down the sums of cash that only City and Madrid can offer. You often hear the players mouth the old cliche that 'a footballers career is a short one blah blah blah' and when it comes to wages, they get their agents to act as such...huge 3-5 year contracts, so they can sit on their yachts in the Med for the rest of their lives after the age of 36. It's nice work if you can get it. Its also crass to think that players move clubs in the modern age for the reasons of prestige. Would Cesc Fabregas want to 'go home' to his local club if it was Espanol? I doubt it. At the highest level players only really move clubs because their team no longer wants them (as when Sneijder left for Italy) or if they are offered a King's random. Simple and ruthless. It's a business.

So just from a point of logic, Wesley Sneijder will not be wearing a United shirt anytime soon. Like many fans I want the Glazers out, but I did also think they would understand that a marquee signing was needed when you lose two in both Ron and Tev. It's clear that United now have a 'ceiling' when it comes to the total transfer package of fee and wages. This is no bad thing, both financially and from a stance of morality. But when we start talking about the biggest and best players in the sport the truth is none of them will be heading to Old Trafford. £29 million is ALOT of money..but it's just the small change of coins dropped down the back of Man City's sofa!..or just a small slice of Perez pie!! Any player that is 'that' high profile and is on our radar will almost definitely be snagged by the new Big Two..even if it's just to spite us!

So I advise my fellow United fan...don't get wrapped up in the hype. The agenda is for us to go after players that have 'that' potential, and are not already winning their teams Champions Leagues and World Cups. I heard mentioned today that Lucas Podolski was now a target. After a fine World Cup his name is back up there, but it was only five minutes ago that his name was mud in club football. At around £16 million, he is the sort of target we need to concentrate on. Chicharito wasn't really getting anyone excited four weeks ago, and now suddenly post World Cup he already looks like a bargain at £10 million! Lets hope that translates into Red Devils form and goals sometime soon.

And lets face's what Fergie normally does. Evra and Vidic were cheap as chips. Valencia looks a steal. Carrick and Hargreaves were slightly overpriced but well within budget, and we have a wealth of talent from the youth system, whether it be Ryan Giggs all the way through to the DaSilva twins.

One or two 'really good footballers', and I think we will be on the verge of silverwear once again. If Fergie can get the jigsaw pieces sorted early, fitting them together may well be the easy part.

And if we really do have some money to spend, I suggest we take a look at both Rafael Van Der Vaart and Alexis Sanchez..both who would be well within our capture net. And both who could become potential superstars of the game.



  1. You're right Sneijder won't be coming to Old Trafford - the fee and wages required ensure that. But I don't think he'll end up at Bernabeu or Wastelands either. There's not a chance Florentino Perez' ego will allow him to re-sign the chap for double the price a year after they flogged him. Sneijder himself was (rightly) very insulted with the way Real treated him. Moreover in David Silva City have got themselves a top class playmaker (he doesn't play on the wing for Valenica and I'm sure he won't for City either).

    Funny how Fergie keeps banging on with how happy he is with the strength of the squad but so obviously wants to sign a playmaker and a striker....

  2. Well, he ain't gonna come out in the press and say "the team's lacking quality" is he...

    As for Sneijder, I'd love to see him come to United and same as you, thought we should have bagged him as part of the Ronaldo deal. That said, I don't think it's wages or transfer fee that are the issue particularly and I actually agree with the club's stance on inflated transfers. I just don't think Sneijder or Inter are interested in the deal.

  3. Thomas, Sweden8 July 2010 at 15:04

    Fantastically well written!

    Don't think van der Vaart is something for us though, but Sanchez definately has the potential to becoma an OT hero.

    Maybe Marek Hamsik also. He didn't do a super WC, so maybe he can be a bargain aswell. But i'd go for Sanchez!

  4. First off, he won't go to either of the "big" clubs. Second, Fergie f***** up by not signing him from Real. A punt on Van Der Vaart makes more sense, considering our budget and his position. Sanchez will cost money we don't have, if Berba goes maybe.

  5. Big fan of Hamsik but he's just signed a new contract with lazio I believe

  6. Elvido if we can bid 29 mil for Sniejder then I reckon we could get sanchez for that price tag

  7. He's not coming to OT, and honestly so would I if I was a player in a team which has won the treble and Sneijder may also be the no.1 contender for the ballon d'or given his performance in the world cup

    read somewhere that khedira could be on the list as well so could be him in the end to join unless citeh or chelski get him first :P

  8. But Sanchez is no Sneijder is he? We are talking about a world class player Vs a potential, Sneijder can guarantee 6-7 years at the top. Don't get me wrong, i like the look of Sanchez but if it's a difference of 10 mill between them and we have the money, then i would have Sneijder any day.

  9. Great read again, I think Sneijder would be brilliant, but the wages what United are willing to pay are the key therefore a non starter to sign Wesley.
    Anyhow I always thought the United way was to develop youth and "just go out and play "was the ethos

  10. Good read, Rob. Looking forward to reading your articles as the new season approaches.

  11. van der vart is rubbish a really poor player