Despite Manchester United being strongly linked with a move for Wesley Sniejder, Sir Alex Ferguson attempted to play down the story this week. Without point blank claiming that we were not interested, the manager wanted to distance the club from the story.
“The situation is that there is no real interest in Wesley Sneijder at this moment in time for a lot of reasons,” Ferguson said. However, his statement of denial became less convincing. “There is nothing I can tell you about it. I have not really been involved in it since I came across here.”
The papers have all claimed that David Gill has been left behind to wrap up the Sniejder deal, whilst Ferguson is on tour with the team.
We have seen similar denials from Ferguson in the past, most recently, when asked about David De Gea in April. The manager was asked whether a deal was already in place but he claimed that it was just tabloid talk.
“On Italian television I am supposed to be signing two players from Italy tonight, so I can place that story along with those,” he said. “There is always speculation about who we are going to sign. So many people throw names at me. I can’t answer it.”
Just a few weeks later, Ferguson then confirmed that a deal had been agreed for the player.
“We’ve been working on it for quite a while, we identified him a while back as one we should go for,” he said. “He’s an outstanding replacement for Edwin van der Sar.”
Having heard Real Madrid talking about Cristiano Ronaldo on a daily basis a couple of seasons ago, the manager is all too aware how much it pisses a club off to have their players spoken about.
I’m not suggesting that because we signed De Gea after Ferguson said we weren’t interested that it means we’re definitely going to sign Sneijder, but we are trying to sign him, and Ferguson’s comments shouldn’t put you off the scent. He is just being sensible.
It’s funny then that Ferguson’s transfer know how can be directly contrasted with the behaviour of Roberto Mancini, who has infuriated Arsene Wenger with his remarks about Samir Nasri.
“Samir is under contract with Arsenal,” Mancini said. “Also for Samir it depends on many things. I don’t know the situation but for Nasri it is difficult. I hope that we can buy because we need other players, and I hope that this player can arrive before the end of the month.”
Wenger has got wind of Mancini’s comments and after Arsenal’s draw in their pre-season game today, he spoke angrily about the City manager’s remarks.
“I think the comments are not allowed,” he said. “They are against the basic rules of football and he should be informed [of that]. I don’t know what should be done. What we want is respect and we don’t make these comments about players who are under contract at other clubs. Disrespectful? I cannot say otherwise. This comment is absolutely out of order.”
If you’re looking to mess up a signing or add a few million to the transfer fee, behave like Mancini. Ferguson shows how it should be done. Now let’s just hope we get our man!