One of the longest running transfer sagas of recent years has flickered back into life with reports emerging of Manchester United’s continued interest in Wesley Sneijder.
The potential transfer dominated headlines through much of last summer, with the deal eventually failing to come to fruition. It was believed that the Netherlands international’s high wages coupled with Inter’s asking price deterred the United hierarchy.
TalkSport builds on reports from Portugal, claiming that United boss Sir Alex Ferguson remains keen on Sneijder and will consider a swap deal with Inter for United winger Nani.
The Portugal international is still to sign a new contract at Old Trafford and reports continue to suggest that United are prepared to cash in on the 25-year-old. It is even believed that United accepted a £25 million bid from Zenit St Petersburg late in the transfer window, but Nani priced himself out of the move.
A swap deal with Sneijder would be a major surprise, however. Sneijder’s age was thought to have counted against him when a deal fell through over 12 months ago and, with the attacking midfielder now aged 28, United are unlikely to break their youth-focused transfer policy twice in a matter of months after the signing of Robin van Persie.
Having signed Shinji Kagawa in the summer, it is hard to see where Sneijder would fit into the current United side.
Speculation that may have more weight behind it concerns reports that Manchester United are monitoring Lille left-back Lucas Digne. The 19-year-old established himself as a regular in the Ligue 1 side’s first team last season and the Daily Mail claims that United scouts watched him in action against Rennes last Friday.
Ferguson signed Dutch left-back Alexander Buttner during the summer to provide cover for Patrice Evra. Speculation has continued about the long-term future of the 31-year-old France international with the Mail reporting that United may see Digne as a potential long-term replacement.
Digne has represented France up to Under-19 level.
With United’s defense currently beset by injuries and those left fit being cut open against Tottenham on Saturday, there have been reports of an improbable return for former United defender Mikael Silvestre. The 35-year-old, who spent nine years at Old Trafford, is currently without a club and has been training with United in recent days.
The Daily Mail has suggested that Ferguson may be tempted to sign Silvestre on a short-term deal due to the current injuries to Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans.
A move for Silvestre is sure to be seen as a clear sign of desperation on Ferguson’s part, however. The former France international failed to impress in his two year spell at Arsenal after leaving United and was allowed to leave Werder Bremen in the summer.