x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Ferguson rubbishes reports that he is close to signing Wesley Sneijder

Manchester United manager has rejected claims that he is nearing a deal to bring the Inter Milan midfielder to Old Trafford.

Wesley Sneijder has been a transfer target for Manchester United all summer, but Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager, says they are no nearer in signing the Inter Milan midfielder.
Wesley Sneijder has been a transfer target for Manchester United all summer, but Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager, says they are no nearer in signing the Inter Milan midfielder.

WASHINGTON DC // Sir Alex Ferguson has rejected claims that he is nearing a deal to bring the Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder to Manchester United.

Throughout United's pre-season tour of North America, Ferguson has consistently rejected any talk that Sneijder is set to leave the Italian club.

Yesterday, chief executive David Gill said there was "nothing imminent".

However, quotes attributed to Ferguson released overnight indicate talks have taken place and Sneijder has been presented with a take-it-or-leave-it offer.

"If he wants to come, he must accept our contract offer. If not we have other options in mind. We are done talking," Ferguson is reported as saying by the Mail on Sunday.

But after tonight's 2-1 win over Barcelona at FedEx Field, Ferguson denied the story.

"Absolute nonsense," said the Scot. "I have never discussed him. There is nothing new."

Ferguson is clearly unhappy with the story and emphasised his desire to find a replacement for Paul Scholes from within his present squad by talking up the performance of England under 21 midfielder Tom Cleverley.

"It an area we have to find a solution for," he said. "That is why we played Tom Cleverley today. Physically he is not the strongest but he is wiry and has a great idea of the game.

"He is a good footballer and was our best player today. His discipline was terrific. He is a quick passer of the ball. He has good eyes.

"It was a big night for him. He is a big, strong possibility for us to start the season."

Nani gave United the first-half advantage in front of a record crowd approaching 82,000 but Thiago curled home a brilliant leveller for the side which cruised to victory against the same opposition in the Champions League final only nine weeks ago.

However, Michael Owen had the last word for the English Premier League champions to complete a 100 per cent record from United's five games in North America.

And there was further good news as Javier Hernandez was cleared to make the flight home despite suffering concussion during training in New Jersey on Tuesday.

"Javier is coming back with us," said Ferguson. "He is fine. He won't play for a couple of weeks but that would have been the case anyway.

"He was always going to need a break until he got his fitness back.

"He will do some training, then we will have him back in three to four weeks."