Manchester United and Chelsea will have to battle for the Premier League next season without Wesley Sneijder in either of their squads, after the Dutch playmaker decided to commit his immediate future to Inter Milan.
It appeared to be a straight shoot-out between the Premier League giants in the race to sign Sneijder, but he has opted to reject both offers to secure his signature.
Some rumours suggest that it is because neither are prepared to meet the wage demands of the 27-year-old, with Sneijder earning close to €200,000 each week at Inter.
However, Sniejder insists that his decision is based upon his love of Inter and the visual delights of Milan.
He revealed on Inter’s official website: “At the moment I am very happy here and I don’t see why I should leave
“There is a family atmosphere at Inter and there are all the ingredients to aim high. Milan is marvellous, picturesque and full of elegance. I love it.”
Both Chelsea and Manchester United are 2/1 in the Premier League odds to win the title next season and must now turn their attentions elsewhere in the transfer market in order to improve their squads.
For Manchester United, either Tottenham’s Luka Modric or Arsenal contract rebel Samir Nasri appear the most likely acquisitions to take on playmaking duties in the centre of the midfield, particularly with Paul Scholes retiring.
Meanwhile, Sneijder’s decision may be more of a blow for Chelsea as a midfield schemer has arguably been the missing part of their jigsaw for the last few seasons.
But with Javier Pastore reportedly keen to leave Palermo, he would be the obvious second choice after Sneijder.
Perhaps more importantly, Sneijder was the number one transfer target of potential manager Guus Hiddink and the fact that he has turned down a move to Stamford Bridge could have some kind of impact on their managerial position.