Inter Milan’s want away playmaker Wesley Sneijder has expressed his desire to join a ‘top’ Premier League club in the January transfer window with Tottenham Hotspur understood to be the leaders in the race to sign him.
Earlier this week it appeared Wesley Sneijder would be heading to Turkey, but he is said to have told representatives he wants a move to the Premier League. Would Tottenham be his best fit?
He could be available for around £12 million but due to his astronomical wage demands, that fee could be negotiable as the Italian giants look to offload him before the summer.
The Dutchman has been a long-time target of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United but, now 28 years of age, his stock has plummeted due to concerns over his attitude at Inter and the availability of creative talent many years his junior.
Ferguson has now brought in Shinji Kagawa and has converted Wayne Rooney into the playmaking number 10 at United, meaning Sneijder is no longer of great interest to the Scot.
However, Spurs have lost two of their most creative and attacking talent in the last 6 months – both Luka Modric and Rafael Van der Vaart were key players under Harry Redknapp and Andre Villas-Boas needs to find adequate replacements.
For Modric, it seems Spurs have the ideal replacement in Schalke’s Lewis Holtby who is expected to arrive this summer when his current contract expires, if not sooner. However, despite bringing in Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey, Spurs have yet to find that magician to operate behind Jermaine Defoe as Van der Vart did before his move to Hamburger last summer.
Van der Vaart was one of Redknapp’s most astute acquisitions – he joined for £8 million, after falling out of favour at Real Madrid and provided an essential injection of creativity, flair and audacity when he arrived in 2010.
His compatriot Sneijder is a very similar player – in fact Sneijder often got the nod for the Netherlands ahead of the former Spurs man. Sneijder also has an impressive CV – he has won the La Liga title with Real Madrid, the Serie A title and the Champion’s League with Inter Milan, and has played in a World Cup final in 2010 with Holland. He was named UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year and was selected in the UEFA Team of the Year in 2010.
For £12 million he could be just the ammunition Villas-Boas requires to sink the other contenders for the top four this season and perhaps even challenge United for the league title.
He would be nowhere near the bargain-signing that Van der Vaart was but he could have exactly the same effect on the Spurs team and for a player of such exceptional quality, even £12 million and a huge salary, he would be a bargain.
His agent Soren Lerby said this week,
"The Premier League is the top league in Europe, so of course it would appeal, but Wes would want to play for a top team.”
If there are no other takers, Andre Villas-Boas would be wise to get Daniel Levy on the task of driving the fees and figures as far down as possible and put all his weight behind bringing him to White Hart Lane.
image: © wonker