Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has claimed that Chelsea want to sign Wesley Sneijder and that he believes the player should make the move to Stamford Bridge. Sneijder was a key part of Jose Mourinho’s Internazionale team that won the Champions League in 2010 and there were rumors this summer of the returning Chelsea coach seeking a reunion.
Sneijder only joined Galatasaray in January when there appeared to be no clubs in the leading European leagues prepared to come close to matching the hefty wages that forced his exit from Inter. But Van Gaal seems to believe that playing in Turkey is negatively impacting his performances for the national team and that working again with Mourinho, who was Van Gaal’s protégé at Barcelona, could be the solution.
"I know Chelsea and Jose Mourinho want Sneijder," Van Gaal said, according to Talksport. “In my opinion, if possible Sneijder should leave Galatasaray and join Chelsea. Playing under Mourinho again would improve his performances and help him regain his form for the national team."
The quotes are intriguing given the wealth of attacking midfielders already at Mourinho’s disposal. Sniejder ending up at Chelsea also appears unlikely given Mourinho’s reticence to play Juan Mata because of his lack of defensive contribution. Sneijder would be even more of a luxury.
Chelsea’s greater need lies deeper in midfield where its options have been further reduced by a long-term injury to summer signing Marco van Ginkel. In that area Mourinho has been linked with a reunion with another of his former players, Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira. Despite much speculation, the Germany midfielder stayed at Madrid this summer, but he has now hit out at his treatment by the Spanish press.
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Madrid have made a disappointing start to the season under Carlo Ancelotti and Khedira believes that he has unfairly been made a symbol of the side’s struggles. One opinion piece in Madrid-based sports daily Marca called for there to be no more “Khedira-naccio.”
"I feel insulted by the Spanish press, I will never be one of their favorite son," Khedira told German magazine Kicker, according to Talksport. "I began the season on the bench and once again I've been made a scapegoat. They don't value me, even when I play well. I'm not Spanish, I didn't cost a lot and I'm a disciple of Mourinho."
Nemanja Matic is another midfielder to have been strongly linked to the Blues in recent times. The Serbia international was at Chelsea for two years but made little impression before being allowed to leave for Benfica. He has made a big impact in Portugal and has now revealed that he would welcome a move back to Stamford Bridge in the future.
"To be honest I would like to stay for another year in Lisbon," he said, according to TuttoMercatoWeb. "But if someone like Mourinho wanted to bring me back to London, it would be a chance to prove that I can play in the Premier League."
Chelsea are also one of a number of big clubs said to be monitoring Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba. The France international has shone since leaving Manchester United on a free transfer in the summer of 2012, with Juventus president Andrea Agnelli recently admitting that the club might struggle to hold onto the 20-year-old. On the back of that, the Daily Express has claimed that Chelsea have been told they will need to offer £40 million to secure his services. Pogba, though, has since claimed that he is only thinking about Juventus.