Liverpool have stepped up their interest in Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder ahead of the January transfer window, with reports suggesting the Reds have tabled a £9.5 million bid for the out-of-favour No. 10, the Daily Mail understands.
Sneijder, 28, has been relegated to the bench by Nerazzurri boss Andrea Stramaccioni since September.
More recently, the Holland international refused to take an annual pay cut of £1.6 million, fueling speculation that Inter Milan would shop him during the winter transfer window.
The 28-year-old Dutchman seems to have come to terms with his likely exit from the San Siro, insisting that it is best for both parties to seek pastures new in January.
“Clearly it’s best for everyone concerned that in January I am transferred,” revealed Sneijder.
“If that doesn’t happen then I will stay. I have a contract with Inter until 2015.”
The attacking midfielder is making about £200,000-a-week in wages, surely limiting the numbers of clubs that would be able to take on his salary.
Subsequently, the bookmakers have determined nine potential destinations for Sneijder in January.
Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain are the Dutchman’s most likely destinations, in that order, while Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Anzhi Makhachkala and Zenit Saint Petersburg round out the top nine destinations for the in-demand midfield maestro.
Sneijder had previously been linked with £40 million move to Manchester United, but his £10 million-a-year wages halted the move, thankfully for United.
Saints eye Astori and Butland
English Premier League newcomers Southampton Football Club are preparing a £13 million double offer for Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland and Cagliari Calcio defender Davide Astori to boost their hopes of staying in England’s top flight, according to the Mirror.
The Saints are reportedly willing to offer £5 million for 19-year-old England international shot-stopper Jack Butland and £8 million for Azzurri centre-back Davide Astori.
Butland is also attracting interest from Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City, but Southampton are the only club in pursuit of the Englishman in desperate need of a No. 1 goalkeeper.
In addition, Southampton face competition from Italian champions Juventus and Napoli for the signature of Astori.
Once again, the Saints, who have conceded 37 goals in 19 games in the Premier League this season, need Astori much more than the likes of Juve and Napoli, but a rising transfer fee would surely prevent a move to the St Mary’s Stadium for the Italy international defender.
Not only must the price be right, but Southampton must also ward off competition from ‘bigger’ clubs in order to lure Astori and Butland to the south coast of England.
That may just be too much to ask for, especially when considering the club dished out a record £12 million to sign Gaston Ramirez from Bologna F.C. 1909 in the summer.