Sneijder: I was 'close' to Man United move

Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder has admitted he was “close” to joining Manchester United during the summer transfer window.

The Dutch playmaker was repeatedly linked with a move to Old Trafford throughout the summer as Sir Alex Ferguson considered signing a high-profile replacement for the retired Paul Scholes.

The deal eventually failed to materialise, but Sneijder has since revealed that at one stage he was convinced it would happen, even though he maintains he never harboured a strong desire to leave Inter.

"I just felt that it was close, yes [I thought I was going]," Sneijder, currently on international duty, told AD.

"We had several talks, the situation was such that Inter had to sell a player, Eto'o or me, and indeed there was interest.

"They [Manchester United] are one of the biggest clubs in the world, so it did not seem a bad thing - but at the same time I do not want to leave Inter.

"Italy is great for me, and I cannot exclude that they [United] got that feeling, for me a move was not an absolute must and there were a few things which meant it did not happen."

It was widely reported that United’s interest in Sneijder waned with the Dutchman’s refusal to lower his wage demands, but the player himself denied this.

"For me it was not so much a financial issue, my feeling was that I was simply feeling very good at Inter,” he added.

“I love the club but also the Italian culture and the people, it fits me."

Despite the relatively advanced negotiations with United, Sneijder also revealed he never got as far as talking directly to manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

"No, Alex Ferguson and I have never spoken, so far," he concluded.

By Liam Twomey