Manchester City look free to sign Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder after Manchester United reportedly cooled their interest, according to the Daily Star.
Sneijder is being frozen out at San Siro after refusing to take a pay cut in his £180,000-a-week wages, leading to claims that Roberto Mancini was about to join Sir Alex Ferguson in preparing a January bid for the Dutchman.
However, this latest report claims the Old Trafford boss has had second thoughts over Sneijder after failing to sign him in 2011, which leaves his counterpart at Etihad Stadium with a free-run to put together a transfer.
It also claims that Inter have refused to play the 28-year-old until he accepts a reduction in his wages, but recent talks have broken down and a resolution appears to be far away if his recent claims are anything to go by.
“At this moment I'm not playing, I have no intention of signing Inter's contract,” he is quoted as saying by Goal.com after the latest bout of talks.
Manchester United have been criticised in recent months for a failure to identify a viable replacement for Paul Scholes and, what with Ferguson’s previous pursuit of Sneijder, it seemed a logical step that moves were made to bring him to Old Trafford.
Mancini’s needs appear less pressing for a player in the style of Sneijder, as he already has David Silva and Samir Nasri to play a similar role, though City have looked rather laboured in attack recently.