Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is desperate to halt his team’s slide towards the bottom three and is planning an audacious swoop for Inter Milan’s out-of-favour midfielder Wesley Sneijder.
The World Cup finalist has been a long-time target of Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham, but with the Anfield club rubbishing a reported £9.5m bid and Spurs keen to sign Christian Eriksen or Joao Moutinho, the Dutch playmaker could be on his way to St James’ Park. Pardew is planning a last-minute bid when the midfielder’s inflated wages are reduced on the 31st of January. Manchester United and Chelsea have so far snubbed Sneijder on basis of his wage demands but Pardew is waiting in the wings for a bargain deadline deal.
Sneijder’s huge wage demands have come into the spotlight after Inter froze him out for the first team for not accepting a 30% wage cut from his £200kpw deal. Newcastle have a history of signing high-profile flops such as Michael Owen and Mark Viduka on £110kpw and £90kpw respectively, although fans are adamant that the days of big spending are long gone. However, with the team’s poor league form causing unrest among supporters, Pardew is keen to sign a player with a proven ability to create chances for any team.
Pardew has the funds to complete the deal, with the club still enjoying the benefits of the £35m from the Andy Carroll deal last season. Newcastle announced a profit of £10m in March this year and could afford the Dutchman’s transfer deal and wages. The deal for Sneijder would pave the way for Yohan Cabaye to leave in the summer for Manchester City, who remain admirers of the midfielder, for a reported £25m which would be another excellent piece of business for the Toon.
Cynics suggest that Sneijder is holding out for a move to big-spenders PSG, Malaga or Anzi Machakala, but the Dutchman could still be tempted by a stint in the Premier League.
The Newcastle manager appeared to rule out a move in October for Sneijder when he spoke to the Newcastle Chronicle saying:
“If I see a player who is available for £8m who is 28 years old then we won’t bid for him.”
However, what Pardew says in the run-up to a transfer window should be taken with a pinch of salt.
The Guardian columnist Simon Jordan has accused Pardew of manipulating transfers with misleading statements in possible attempts to create problems for rival employers.
Newcastle United have a tradition of announcing marquee signings with Michael Owen, Patrick Kluivert and Obafemi Martins all joining the club in the last eight years and the Sneijder deal would fit the bill.
Newcastle have struggled without injured Cabaye since early November and have dropped to 15th in the Premier League table. With Cheik Tiote leaving for the African Cup of Nations in January, the Newcastle midfield will be very bare indeed without any new quality acquisitions. However, the North-East club can look forward to an ensuing European adventure and Pardew hopes that Sneidjer can help them on the way.
Former Newcastle Steve Howey defender spoke to TalkSport this afternoon about the injury situation and indirectly referred to Yohan Cabaye saying:
“It’s imperative that we do get people in. If you have a long time injury it is difficult to get back because you will pick up little niggling injuries.”
Although the French midfielder should return from injury in February, Pardew wants to secure the Sneijder signing ahead of a host of clubs.
Sources from Sneijder’s representatives say that the Dutchman would relish a Europa League campaign with Newcastle and would not deem a move to Newcastle as a step down. The Magpies are in the draw against some of the top teams in Europe including Chelsea, Napoli, Benfica and Atletico Madrid. Internazionale are in the draw themselves, with a home leg against CFR Cluj to look forward to.
Of course, only the mega-rich clubs look able to afford to pay Wesley Sneijder’s vast wages. But the signing of the influential Dutchman would be in line of Newcastle history in the transfer market, would expel any fears of relegation and would provide real quality in a key area in the Toon’s Europa league effort this season.
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