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Jan 20, 2013

Sneijder agrees to join Galatasaray

MILAN -- Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder has agreed to join Turkish club Galatasaray.

Galatasaray said on its website Sunday that it reached a deal with Sneijder pending a medical, which is expected to take place Monday.

The contract is for a reported three and a half years and worth 5 million euros ($6.66 million) per season.

Galatasaray agreed to a transfer fee of 7.5 million euros ($10 million) with Inter earlier this month for the Netherlands captain.

"I'm really enthusiastic about going to Turkey," Sneijder told Galatasaray's television channel. "I've heard that so many people are waiting for me in Istanbul, I know the Turkish fans are fantastic.

"I'm happy to play for a club like Galatasaray. I can't wait to play my first game and to meet (coach) Fatih Terim. Together we'll do great things. I'll make him proud to have bought me."

Sneijder joined Inter Milan in 2009 and has helped it to a number of trophies, notably the treble of the Italian League and Cup and the Champions League in 2010.

He was seen as one of the top players available in this January transfer window after falling out with club officials at Inter. In November, Inter technical director Marco Branca said Sneijder would not play until he made a decision about his future, with a new deal reportedly requiring him to take a pay cut.

Sneijder has not featured for the Nerazzurri since a 2-0 victory at Chievo in September after publicly refusing to take a 2-million-euro ($2.7 million) pay cut on a contract that ran until June 2015.

Head coach Andrea Stramaccioni maintained the playmaker's absence from the first team was solely a tactical decision, despite Inter's clear difficulty in keeping pace with league leader Juventus through an injury crisis.

This week saw Inter president Massimo Moratti urge Sneijder to make a "professional" decision over his future in Milan, where he won the treble under Jose Mourinho in 2010. The pair cleared the air before Sneijder headed for decisive talks with representatives of the Super Lig leaders.

"I wanted to have a chat with him, I thought we needed to," Moratti told inter.it on Sunday evening. "Have we made peace? I don't think there was ever a war in the first place, and certainly not with me personally."

Information from Press Association and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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