EXCLUSIVE: Inter accept United's offer for Sneijder
Published 00:00 02/08/11 By David Maddock
Wesley Sneijder WILL become a Manchester United player this week... if he accepts a restructured pay-deal to move to the Premier League.
The Dutch midfielder's club, Inter Milan, have paved the way for a £30million-plus transfer by accepting, in principle, a formal offer United made at the weekend.
They are ready to grant Sneijder permission to speak to officials from Old Trafford, and the Mirror understands those talks will take place later this week.
The only stumbling block to what would surely be world football's deal of the summer is the player's wage demands, given the tax-favourable status he enjoys while playing in Italy.
Sneijder doesn't want to take a pay-cut on a salary that would earn him the equivalent of almost £190,000 a week in the Premier League - which is way outside United's pay structure.
The English champions though, are prepared to talk about a sliding pay scale that will see a large basic wage topped up with generous bonuses as well as signing-on fees that will be spread over the length of the contract.
That would almost match his contract with Inter, and, given that United players can earn large sums through image rights - which are less effective at other European clubs - it would appear a compromise could be reached.
Both clubs were cagey about the situation yesterday, with Inter officials confirming there had been a formal bid from England, and United boss Sir Alex Ferguson suggesting the player had to think about his club's offer.
Ferguson held talks with United chief executive David Gill about the prospect of an improved salary package for Sneijder that would not break the club's wage structure, and there was optimism a deal could be struck.
The player's agent is expected to fly into London before the weekend, and United are hoping to have the Holland international training with the squad in time for the start of the Premier League season a week on Saturday.
Inter had considered a part exchange deal, with Dimitar Berbatov moving the other way, but while they haven't ruled that out completely they have indicated they would prefer the cash up front, with an option to negotiate on striker Berbatov separately.