United launch £25m Sneijder raid in bid to replace veteran Scholes

April 23, 2011 - 0:0

Sir Alex Ferguson will try to exploit growing turmoil at Inter Milan by making a concerted attempt to sign Wesley Sneijder at the end of the season.

Though a huge admirer of Tottenham’s Luka Modric, the Manchester United manager has set his sights on Sneijder as his principal summer target and is prepared to meet a £25million asking price to prise him away from the San Siro.
Recruiting a midfielder with drive and energy is Ferguson’s priority, and the feedback on Sneijder’s likely availability has encouraged the Old Trafford boss to seek clearance to proceed with a bid.
Sportsmail understands an offer will be lodged with Inter, and their president Massimo Moratti is willing to sanction the Holland World Cup midfielder’s departure, despite him signing a long-term deal this season.
Sneijder, 26, accepted improved terms until 2015 but has since seen Inter unravel under coach Leonardo, with the one-time Brazil midfielder coming under heavy fire for his tactical approach to their Champions League tie against Schalke and Serie A clash against city rivals AC Milan.
After axing Maicon and Thiago Motta for not trying hard enough in training, and even relegating Sneijder to the bench, Leonardo was at the mercy of a critical Italian media after Inter crashed out 7-3 on aggregate against Schalke and effectively surrendered their league title to Milan with a 3-0 derby defeat.
Sneijder, who spent two seasons at Real Madrid before joining Inter in summer 2009, is ready for a fresh start and evidently relishes the challenge of replacing Paul Scholes as United’s new midfield general.
United have also been alerted to a hint that Porto are surprisingly ready to cash in on their main assets to ease financial worries.
Despite being crowned Portuguese champions with five games to go, Porto need to raise funds and are resigned to losing centre back Rolando, who was watched by an Old Trafford scout against Sporting Lisbon last weekend, and forward Hulk, who is also being monitored by United.
However, with doubts remaining over Carlos Tevez’s future, Manchester City have repeatedly run the rule over powerful Brazil front-runner Hulk and are prepared to match Porto’s £34m valuation.
United were offered Rolando last summer and, although they dithered then, they are now ready to make a move for the 25-year-old, who has been capped 10 times by Portugal and is available at around £12m.
Though United have agreed a £17.8m fee with Atletico Madrid for goalkeeper David de Gea, there remain concerns within Old Trafford about the 20-year-old’s readiness to leave his homeland.
As they wait for word from their prime choice to replace Edwin van der Sar, they continue to consider alternatives, with Ajax’s Maarten Stekelenburg and Sporting Lisbon’s Rui Patricio under review.
There will be players leaving Old Trafford as well with Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov being linked with Juventus.
(Source: DailyMail)