Chelsea have ‘stolen ahead’ of Manchester United in their pursuit of Wesley Sneijder, with the Dutchman preferring to live in London than Manchester, according to the Metro.
Chelsea are extremely close to choosing a manager as the summer transfer period hits full throttle, and while Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal have made their first moves with deals, Chelsea are yet to show their cards.
Sneijder is looking likely to be the first signing for the Stamford Bridge club though, as Chelsea reportedly schedule talks with Inter Milan to organise a final price, said to be in the vicinity of £30 million.
Manchester United were thought to have seen Sneijder as the 'next Paul Scholes', though the high fee for the star may have turned SirAlex Ferguson off the deal.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have a much higher budget than United, and believe that Sneijder will help the Blues finally reach the coveted Champions League trophy.
Former Chelsea manager Glenn Hoddle recently said he believed that bringing Sneijder into the squad was what Roman Abramovich needed to do to be the best in Europe.
"Chelsea keep coming closer to winning the Champions League, they have been consistently reaching semi-finals, but right now the squad is lacking a creative element in midfield, to open the door,” Hoddle said.
"I feel they have a good strike force, and I do believe that Fernando Torres will come good, but it is not easy for him without chances being laid on by a creative midfield.
"Someone like Wesley Sneijder comes to mind, the big clubs here are chasing him, but he is the kind of player Chelsea need and they need a couple like him."
Alex Ferguson has not been known to give up on coveted Manchester United targets easily though, and a bidding war could ensue if the manager refuses to relent on a possible deal.