Manchester United may well have missed out on the signing of Louis van Gaal favourite Wesley Sneijder this summer, because of their failure to qualify for the Champions League last season.
During an interview in the build up to Galatasaray’s European fixture with Arsenal tonight, which kicks off at 7:45pm at the Emirates Stadium, Sneijder confirmed that he had knowledge of interest from United during the course of the summer, but Champions League football was too much of a draw to turn down.
Rumours have raged over the past few months suggesting that Sneijder would be the first Dutch star to follow Van Gaal to Old Trafford, or maybe even move to Chelsea, with whom he was also linked, only for him to fail to do so. And, whilst Daley Blind linked up with the former Netherlands coach, his international teammate has confirmed he’s happy in the Turkish Super Lig.
“Louis (Van Gaal) is one of the most intelligent men in football - and I knew of Manchester United's interest in the summer," he said, according to the Daily Mail.
“It was flattering - but I am very happy in Turkey - and it is very hard to leave Champions League football.”
No chance of a move
Such comments would allude to the fact that there is no move on the horizon anytime soon for Sneijder, particularly not until at least next summer, when it will have been determined whether or not Van Gaal’s side will have qualified for Europe’s premier competition.
Given the Red Devils’ recent performances that may put any potential deal under duress, although their transfer activity during the summer transfer window makes it unlikely anyway. With Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera and Blind being acquired there is now plenty of competition for places in the advanced positions in midfield, with Juan Mata finding himself struggling for game-time.
Sneijder occupies a similar role to both Di Maria and Mata, meaning that Van Gaal would have to dispense of the services of an important player if he was to bring the 30-year-old in.
The Dutch international won’t be too fussed though, as it appears he is content to remain with Gala. The Turkish giants have stalled somewhat in their campaign thus far under Cesare Prandelli, having appointed him in the summer following the exit of Roberto Mancini, and travel to north London to face Arsene Wenger’s Gunners tonight in a match they enter as underdogs.
Arsenal are sure to be wary of the threat Sneijder poses however, as the former Inter Milan ace proved at the World Cup that he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level. An electric performance could have United fans being left to rue what might have been, but the odds of the playmaker plying his trade in the Premier League now look to be heavily stacked in the against category.