The complex narrative woven around Wesley Sneijder’s potential move to Manchester United took another unexpected turn today, after Inter Milan boss Gian Piero Gasperini suggested that the Dutch midfielder may be left out of the friendly derby game against AC Milan this Saturday.
The Milan rivals will take each other on in the Italian Super Cup in Beijing, but Sneijder may have to sit the game out, amidst growing speculation that he is to make a move to Manchester Untied.
"Whether Sneijder will play or not play is a question I cannot answer right now,” said Gasperini.
"He's played many positions in the past and I'm sure he can find a position on my team.”
Sneijder arrived in China with the team this week and was looking forward to the game.
He said: "I'm a footballer, I have many objectives and I want to win because I enjoy winning. Saturday is the first big challenge of the season.
"Playing the Super Cup in Beijing is cool and will be great fun. It's the derby, too, of course, so it will be a great match."
Gasperini looked to play down the talk, even after putting the 27-year-old’s selection in doubt, adding that regardless of any talk, there has been no progress in any discussion between the two clubs.
The Inter boss said: "I think there is a bit of misinformation flying around, in fact a lot. I've realised that when it comes to Inter, people exaggerate situations that don't exist.
"I on the other hand have found a very calm atmosphere here. It's normal during the transfer window that there are rumours especially revolving around a club like ours which has great players.
"But the truth is that until now there has been no movement and we're here to play our game, regardless of everything."
Manchester United are remaining equally quiet about any discussions between the two clubs, but Gasperini’s wavering over selection may well be the first clear sign that a reported £35 million deal could be viable.