The chances of Internazionale playmaker Wesley Sneijder joining Manchester United have been dismissed as “absolute nonsense” by manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Rumours have been circulating that the Dutch star is bound for Old Trafford, with the Mail on Sunday attributing quotes to Ferguson saying that the former Real Madrid and Ajax man had been presented with a take-it-or-leave-it offer: “If he wants to come, he must accept our contract offer. If not we have other options in mind. We are done talking” Ferguson is quoted as saying.
However, following United’s 2-1 win over Barcelona in their pre-season friendly at FedEx Field in Washington last night – Nani and Michael Owen scoring the goals for United against the European champions – Ferguson denied the story.
“Absolute nonsense. I have never discussed him. There is nothing new.”
The continual links between United and Sneijder come as the club look for a replacement for the now retired club legend Paul Scholes. Yet, Ferguson has been talking up youngster Tom Cleverley, who played on-loan for Wigan Athletic last year and was excellent in the win over Los Cules playing in central midfield, as the man to take up the Scholes mantle.
“It an area we have to find a solution for,” he said. “That is why we played Tom Cleverley today. Physically he is not the strongest but he is wiry and has a great idea of the game. He is a good footballer and was our best player today.
“His discipline was terrific. He is a quick passer of the ball. He has good eyes. It was a big night for him. He is a big, strong possibility for us to start the season.”