Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted that Wesley Sneijder was never wanted by Manchester United, with the manager citing duo Xavi and Iniesta as the only possible replacements for Paul Scholes.

“Sneijder is not the ideal replacement for Scholes,” Ferguson said.

“He is a fantastic player but not what we were looking for...Only Xavi and Iniesta are comparable to Scholes.”


Sneijder said yesterday that talks had taken place over a possible move to Manchester United, but the deal was scuppered because Samuel Eto’o left Inter Milan and gave the Italian club enough money to complete their transfer dealings without selling the playmaker.

United were on the lookout for a replacement for Scholes, who retired at the end of the season after an illustrious career at Old Trafford spanning 17 years.

But with Xavi and Iniesta both perfectly happy with Barcelona, United will have to make the search for another Scholes a long term goal if they are to meet Sir Alex Ferguson’s high expectations.

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