The announcement by Turkish club, Galatasaray, that they had opened talks with representatives of Inter Milan star, Wesley Sneijder, confirm that the Dutch international will definitely be one of, if not the biggest name to be changing employers in the January transfer window.
A move has long been on the cards for Sneijder, whose apparent unhappiness at the San Siro has been escalating since the heady days under Jose Mourinho.
With many of Europe’s stellar names circling around the midfield maestro, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that the first club to hold discussions with the player is the Istanbul based giants.
Sneijder, 28, who has played for Ajax and Real Madrid previously, has been consistently linked with a move to the English Premier League, with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believed to be a long term admirer.
Throw into the mix moneybags Manchester City and the ambitious Tottenham Hotspur and it would seem very likely that Sneijder would be packing his bags for a move to European football’s highest spending league.
However, there are clubs in other countries willing to open their chequebooks during this transfer window and Turkish football has proven more than capable in recent years of competing with the higher profile competitions when it comes to financially rewarding players and selling clubs.
But is Sneijder, undoubtedly one of the biggest names in the European game, willing to take what would be considered a drop in status to join Galatasaray?
The answer must surely be ‘NO’. The Turkish club have stolen a march on their rivals for the Dutchman’s signature and have the ambition to bring such a well-known face into their ranks. And with such huge support and an almost certain annual appearance in the Champions League assured, they can rightly consider themselves an attractive proposition.
But this opening gambit from Galatasaray is just the beginning of the jostling that will likely be contested by some of the continents prominent names from the more globally branded Leagues . With more than a week already gone in the transfer window, this announcement is likely designed by Sneijder’s representatives to ‘flush out’ those who had previously been waiting in the shadows.
Now that the Turkish club has broken cover, expect to see more activity and speculation surrounding Sneijder and his next destination.
As his agent Soren Lerby told Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf, “Every day there is a new club linked to Wesley. For that reason I have decided not to answer any more questions”
That’s right Soren, just sit back and let the bidding war commence.