Archive for the ‘Wesley Sneijder’ Category

Over at ESPN FC, Counter Attack contributor James Horncastle tackles the elephant in the room. Did Wesley Sneijder take a ‘step down’ by joining Galatasaray? The Dutchman’s move rekindled memories of Galatasaray’s dalliance with Robert Baggio in 2000. Baggio never came, staying at the San Siro for another six months before leaving for Brescia. Horncastle indicated the sense at the time was Baggio kept himself relevant by not leaving for Turkey. The same cannot be said for Sneijder. He’s not joining an Eastern European minnow with deep pockets.

“Galatasaray are the Turkish champions and current league leaders. They’re in the last 16 of the Champions League due to face Schalke and are likely to be back in the competition again next season, something which looks improbable for his former club Inter and isn’t a guarantee at some of the other supposedly interested parties. They may not be perceived as a prestigious club (despite lifting the UEFA Cup and European Super Cup in 2000). They may not be a member of the traditional elite. But that’s not to say they aren’t a huge club, the size of which only dawns on players when they join and on fans when they go to watch football at the Turkish Telecom Arena. It’s myopic to believe otherwise.”

Sneijder made his debut this afternoon, coming on as a sub in a 2-1 win over Besiktas. Cimbom supporters were happy to see him. Apparently, Drogba might be joining him.

Any minute now, Wesley Sneijder, the Dutch midfielder seemingly forever linked with big name clubs not named Inter Milan for the past year or so, will complete his January transfer to Turkish outfit Galatasaray for a reported €10 million. The Guardian:

The Super Lig club released a statement on Sunday which read: “The transfer of Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan has been agreed. The conditions of the deal will be made public and the player will sign the contract after health checks.”

A short conversation between the Inter president Massimo Moratti and Sneijder was released on the Serie A club’s website on Sunday evening, in which both parties revealed the Dutch international was close to calling time on a successful spell at the San Siro.

Reports in Italy and Holland suggested Sneijder and his agent Soren Lerby met with Galatasaray’s director Lutfi Arigogan in a Milan hotel to finalise the details of a three-and-a-half year contract.

Sneijder has not featured for the Nerazzurri since a 2-0 victory at Chievo in September after publicly refusing to take a €2m pay cut on a contract that ran until June 2015.

Taken together with rumours that Arsenal’s final decision to meet Theo Walcott’s wage demands was forced by their failure to find a buyer for the England forward, we start to see the faintest outline of a post-recession, post-Financial Fair Play pattern in European transfer deals.

Few would claim that either Sneijder or Walcott are poor players, or have suffered a sudden dip in form. Sneijder is 28, and in theory should be at his career peak. Despite failure to meet impossible expectations upon his emergence as an 18 year-old wunderkind in 2006, Walcott is still clearly a capable player, having provided Arsenal’s only real glimmer of anything against Chelsea on Sunday.

Sneijder may have refused to take a pay cut from Inter, confident he would simply be swooped up by a European contender. Galatasaray is certainly not a small club, but it’s a curious destination for a player long-linked with the likes of Manchester United.

It’s clear therefore that the age of clubs engaging in fierce bidding wars for proven talent may be at an end, or at least a pause. Expensive stars will either accept pay cuts in order to move on from their current club (as with rumours of Kaka’s return to AC Milan), or, if they have leverage within the club, staying on for higher wages rather than trying to find a big name buyer.

That’s probably pretty boring stuff for the transfer news freaks, but it does open up new avenues for lesser lights to take advantage of the lower prices on offer for European players (looking at you MLS!).
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For those of you not well versed in Turkish, Wesley Sneijder will join Galatasaray. The Dutch midfielder heads to Turkey on a three and a half year deal worth €5 million per season. Inter Milan accepted an offer of €7.5 million. Sneijder will look to start over after a tumultuous period that saw him banished from Inter’s starting lineup.

Even the departure of his favourite coach could not change Wesley Sneijder’s mind. “I would like to stay at Inter my whole life,” said the Dutchman in August of 2010, months after the departure of José Mourinho to Real Madrid had been confirmed. “I want to end my career here in Milan.”

Two-and-a-half years later, the odds on that outcome are rapidly receding. At this rate he might not even make it past January. Sneijder has not played for Inter since injuring his thigh during a game against Chievo on 26 September, and already the newspapers are speculating that it may have been his last for the club. The player has been back in training for over a week, but Inter have made it clear that under the present circumstances he will not be part of any match-day squad. Read the rest of this entry »