Date: 4th August 2011 at 6:14pm
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When Paul Scholes announced his retirement, much was made of how he had contributed to United over the years.

His creativity, skills on and off the ball and ability to both pick out a pass and score key goals were mooted to be sorely missed. The question of how to replace not only Scholes, but a number of key players leaving United was raised.

The board and manager rose to the challenge with gusto, replacing Van der Sar with bright exciting keeper David De Gea, bringing in Ashley Young to provide width and spark in midfield whilst injecting the promising talent of Phil Jones into the back line.

However, as of yet, no one has been brought in to replace one of the greatest players in United history.

The fact of the matter is, no one will be able to directly replace Paul Scholes, with his conduct both on and off the pitch being something worthy of recognition, and stellar performances throughout his career at Old Trafford. The player himself preferred to stay out of the media spotlight, and when so many of his colleagues were making headlines for various indiscretions off the field, Scholes was proud to be a family man and leave the partying to the rest of the squad.

Apart from a miss timed tackle or two – and that’s putting it mildly – Scholes was the complete player, and will be hard to replicate on the field and in the dressing room. Yet as a member of Fergie’s backroom staff now, his presence around the club will remain there and he will continue to help and guide young players coming through the club.

On the field, however, United do need someone to offer that spark in the centre of midfield, and no disrespect to Anderson – who has stated he feels as though he could do the job and replace Scholes – someone of a proven calibre is needed if we do expect to compete at the highest level next season. Although no one can say beating Barcelona during pre-season was not welcomed, it is not the same as beating their full strength side when they are at peak physical condition. To do this we need a creative player in midfield, and there is non-better than Wesley Sneijder.

The player himself has expressed delight at a potential move to the Premier League, and with his wife holding ambitions of a media career in not just her native Holland, but also in England, she too is keen for a move to occur.  The club itself have been sending out mixed messages, with Fergie stating there ‘is no one suitable available at this time’ yet David Gill vehemently stating that the summer spending at Old Trafford is not done with yet. Scholes himself has endorsed the player along with Eric Cantona, and Sneijder commands much respect from United players already.

To list the player’s attributes and accolades over recent seasons is something that has been done time and time again, with United fans themselves keen to see the little Dutch man at the Theatre of Dreams come the start of the season. Clearly he would bring something to the United midfield that is currently lacking, and whilst not a major problem now, may come to be one as the bigger games come to pass and that special through ball or spark is needed to make the big difference.

The stumbling block that has been much reported on is the player’s wage demands, with £200,000 per week breaking the current pay structure at Old Trafford, and issues over tax and image rights also being contentious. Whatever the case, the Sneijder to United story will not go away, with more than minimal interest from both sides, and Inter Milan willing to sell should the price be right.

The fact of the matter is, it seems fairly clear that in the near future he will be moving to Manchester United.

What both parties need to make sure of is that this saga does not roll on and on, becoming like Cescgate, something that both players and fans are tired of, and lose interest in.


12 responses to “‘What now?…’ When/how will the Sneijder saga end?”

  1. Jack says:

    a bloody long month, to be blunt as until we sign a Scholes type, we will be linked until the window closes.

    for me we have 4 areas of uncertainty and a creative midfielder tops the list

    to be clear the areas are (in order of importance)
    1) a creative ala Sneijder

    after that any further signings are prob unlikely but i would like

    2) a defensive/combative midfielder, i am one of the few that would take barton but theres many others i would prefer from De Rossi to Javi Martinez, M’Vila to Parker.

    3) one of the main positions that will be up for grabs and if we could get a maicon or a lahm, a world class player towards the end of there twenties to give the twins a bit more time then i would be happy. but we can get by easily without a new first choice rb.

    4) Berba – i think he will stay but if a offer of £20m comes in and we can find a top striker worth signing than who knows. i like berba but sometimes feel he struggles when played as a lone striker, but again its not that much of an issue.

  2. FuckGibbo says:

    He’s staying at Inter & only when he’s past his sell by date at 32 he will join united…..or the fucking worst & he goes to city next season if it’s about the money…..

  3. Jamali says:

    Enough with this bullshit. Just grab Sneijder please!! We need him training with the team before the season starts. Sell Berba for 20+mil. Sell Carrick and Gibson too, for peanuts if you have to. Gibson is already worth peanuts now. Carrick is not worth much soon anyway. Send out Obertan on loan. That will balance the wage problem.

    Juan Mata is a whole lot better than Young. So how come we got Young for more than Mata’s going price? English players are too over rated.

  4. matt mellor says:

    We are not gonna sign him and the sooner everybody accepts it the better. We would be better off chasing more realistic targets like hamsik or gourcuff. So sick of hearing about sniejder now and I’m guessing everybody else is too.

    • Jonathan says:

      I agree, how can this article say it’s fairly clear he’ll be moving to United? He is asking obscene wages, so at best there is a slight chance of it happening, but no shock if it doesn’t materialize.

      Sneijder wouldn’t be a bad addition, but I grow tired of this mentality as we see in the comments above that only one player would work and holds the keys to any future success. Sneijder is no doubt talented, but people too often overlook the fact that we aren’t desperate for a creative midfielder. Don’t forget we have Cleveley and Giggs (both true United players) at that position not to mention a few promising others from the academy who deserve a shot in the coming seasons.

      The true need is at DM where we don’t have a proper player for that position and doesn’t seem to have one emerging from our academy.

    • FuckGibbo says:

      Agree 100%

  5. think united are trying to get the best deal possible rather than throwing money around like city. so its taking a little longer

  6. Ayoola alawusa says:

    Word well spoken,jack! I totally agree with everything said;from “the sneijder” case to berba’s unclear future… But one thing i don’t agree with is the feeling that you think we might not excel if we don’t get sneijder… I reckon sneijder will defini fly make us a better team but i do think if the transfer doesn’t happen we’ll more than live cos we got something the rest teams don’t have…SIR ALEXANDER FERGUSON! Plus building a team is a gradual process.for instance we have ryan tunnicliffe,who some have likened to the legendary roy keane,on loan to gather first team experience after stellar performances for the reserve team…so if we rush to buy a m’vlia or a javi martinez then we’ll be hindering chances for the youth set-up…generally,i do think you’ve spoken well,ONE UNITED!

  7. Nippy says:

    Sneijder is a great player but a hell of a lot of money. We have an attacking midfielder with bundles of class in Anderson. He cost, what was it, £17 million? And where do we play him? as a defensive / holding midfielder. We need to replace Hargreaves / Keane, with a proper defensive mid (not Carrick or Fletcher), my preference would be De Rossi. Then our attacking mid can get on with the job he was bought in for. Anderson is a wonderful talent but Fergie, for some reason, has not let the player develop in his natural position.

  8. redeye says:

    Newboy Jones would make areally good defencive midfielder.

  9. James says:

    Its really taking a long time to get this deal done, but hopefully some progress will be made after tomorrow Super Cup game with AC Milan. I have a strong feeling that a £30.5 million (35 million euro) deal has been agreed between the clubs and its up to the player now.

    Sneijder has probably been made a contract offer and he will make a decision by Sunday/Monday. If he agrees then he will join after playing for Holland against England at Wembley, which is happening on Wednesday. If the deal isn’t done by Thursday then I would assume he is staying with Inter Milan.

    I think a lot is dependent on Sneidjer decision which is why I’m sure it has to be done next week or not at all. Inter will want a quick decision because they probably want the money so they can sign Tevez from City. Also I think PSG £18-20 million move for Berbatov will only be achieved if Sneijder joins.

  10. Utuetu says:

    Why would a world class feooballtr want to play for such a negative side like City. Look whats happened to all the other money grabbing players that have gone there only to sit on the bench.