BEIRUT: Real Madrid are believed to be weighing up a shock move for former midfielder Wesley Sneijder currently playing with Inter Milan.
Widespread reports are indicating that the Spanish champions may approach the Italian club should a deal for Tottenham’s Luka Modric fall through.
Reports in the British media at the weekend had suggested that a 36-million-pound ($56.4 million) fee had been agreed between Tottenham and Real but the Spanish side have moved to quell rumors of a deal being close to completion.
The clubs are still unable to agree on a price for the Croatian midfielder, with Spurs remaining steadfast that they will not consider any offer under 40 million pounds.
Modric, 26, has openly declared his desire to leave Spurs, with Real his preferred destination, but Madrid are refusing to increase their offer to meet Tottenham’s asking price.
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas has conceded that the player wants to leave but insists that Tottenham will not be bullied into letting their star player leave on the cheap.
“This can be resolved in one of two ways,” the Portuguese manager said.
“One is that the teams pay what Tottenham is asking and the other is that the player continues with us next season.”
Real boss Jose Mourinho is believed to be now considering alternative options, with Sneijder seen as the ideal signing should the club be unable to lad Modric.
Sneijder previously played under Mourinho when the former Chelsea boss was in charge of Inter, with the Dutchman a key part of the side which won the Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble in 2010.
The Holland international spent two seasons at Real between 2007 and 2009, helping the Spanish side to the title in 2008.
New Inter signing Rodrigo Palacio has said he hopes Sneijder will stay in Milan, describing the playmaker as an influential figure on the pitch.
“I, actually we are happy that Wes is here with us,” Palacio told Italian daily Gazzettadello Sport.
“Everything is much easier on the pitch with him in the side. Sneijder is the head of this team – he makes everyone play well.
“If Sneijder plays in the manner that he knows how then, as a consequence, Inter as a whole play better.”
Chelsea are preparing a final bid for Wigan’s Victor Moses and are hopeful of landing the Nigerian international.
The Blues’ latest offer is thought to be in the region of 7.5-million pounds, with the club having seen three bids already dismissed by the Latics.
Wigan are reportedly holding out for 10 million pounds, but the Champions League winners are hoping to secure Moses’ services for less after the player revealed a desire to leave the DW Stadium.
The playmaker has just one year remaining on his contract and has also been linked with a move to Arsenal should winger Theo Walcott leave the Emirates Stadium.
After reportedly cooling their interest in Arsenal striker Robin van Persie, The Daily Mirror reports that Juventus are putting together a mammoth 70-million pound package to bring the Dutch forward to Turin.
The Italian champions’ general manager Giuseppe Marotta has told van Persie’s representatives that the club are willing to beat any offer made by Premier League sides Manchester United and Manchester City, in addition to offering the 28-year-old wages of 190,000 pounds a week after tax.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson remains confident of signing van Persie, but are reluctant to pay more than 15-million pounds for him.
Van Persie’s poor injury record and the fact he turns 29 next week means that Ferguson is unwilling to pay over the odds for a player who has already publically signaled his intention to leave north London.
Barcelona have revealed an interest in signing Brazil’s Olympic star Neymar, and are hopeful of capturing the Santos forward after the London games’ conclusion.
Neymar has strongly been linked with a move to the Nou Camp, with reports indicating that a 47 million pound fee has already been agreed between the Brazilian side and Barcelona.
“We would all like him to come after the Olympics,” Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu said.
“Neymar is currently a Santos player. But it's likely he will end up playing in Europe and when that happens we are going to try to make sure it's at Barcelona.”
Neymar’s compatriot Thiago Silva has spoken of the transfer which took the defender to Paris St. Germain from AC Milan, making it clear that he never asked for a transfer away from the San Siro.
The Brazilian joined PSG in a 33-million pound deal last month, and was soon followed by Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“I wanted to stay, then I realized that Milan had economic hardship and made a deal with me,”he told Gazzettadello Sport.
“When Leonardo called me to tell me that the negotiations had reopened I was a bit 'confused'.
“I will miss the friends and the city of Milan, but with Ibra [Ibrahimovic] and [manager Carlo]Ancelotti I feel the atmosphere of AC Milan.”
Milan’s vice-president Adriano Galliani is due to fly to New York this week to open talks with Real Madrid over the signing of Kaka.
Kaka, the former World and European player of the year, was a huge success at Milan, helping the side to the Champions League title in 2007 before departing to Madrid in what was then a world record transfer.
Galliani has met with the player’s father Bosco Leite and his Italian agent in the past week to thrash out personal terms, with the Brazilian said to be keen on a return to the San Siro.
West Ham have agreed a 2-million-pound loan fee for Liverpool striker Andy Carroll, leading to a 17 million pound transfer at the end of the season.
It is unknown whether Carroll will accept a move to the Hammers but reports in the British press indicate that the forward is unwilling to commit to joining the east London side permanently.
The proposed deal taking Carroll to Upton Park would not include an option to buy the forward at the end of the summer, but a legally binding commitment.
The 23-year-old hopes to remain at Liverpool and prove his worth under new manager Brendan Rodgers, but is said to favor a move to Newcastle should he be forced out of Anfield.