Galatasaray seal deal for Sneijder
Turkish giants Galatasaray have announced that they have agreed a deal to sign Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder for a reported fee of around €7.5 million.
Sneijder, 28, has been linked with a move away from Italy after becoming surplus to requirements at Inter Milan, and Galatasaray submitted a €7.5 million offer for the former Real Madrid midfielder last week.
Now, after reports that the player has been stalling on the move amid suggestions he was reluctant to go to Turkey, Galatasaray have confirmed the transfer.
A statement on the Gala Twitter feed read: "An agreement with Inter Milan and Wesley Sneijder for the transfer has been agreed. The conditions of the deal will be made public and the player will sign the contract after health checks.''
In an interview with the club on Sunday night, Sneijder hinted that he could be available for Galatasaray's top-of-the-table clash with Besiktas next weekend.
"I am very happy with my agreement with Galatasaray," he said. "I can’t wait to wear the Galatasaray shirt. I know that Turkish people are very passionate about football.
"I feel in good shape and hope to already play in the next match against Besiktas. I heard a lot about Coach Fatih Terim and know his career in Italy well. It will be good to work finally work together. Turkish? I hope to learn it soon"
After much deliberation over Sneijder's wage demands, Galatasaray chairman Unal Aysal supported the Dutchman's move to Turkey, revealing that the 28-year-old is hoping to finish his career at the Turk Telekom Arena.
"We are signing players according to our coach's directives," Aysal told Galatasaray's official TV channel, GSTV. "It's a big achievement for Sneijder to play at Galatasaray.
"He said he is coming to end his career here. Our expectations won't be unfulfilled. [Inter president Massimo] Moratti is a real gentleman. I appreciated him every time we met. He did what he promised. In the end this is a happy ending for [all] three parties. I'm satisfied with Moratti's collaboration."
The announcement ends any hope Liverpool may have had of signing the Netherlands international, who was understood to have preferred a move to the Premier League.
Steven Gerrard had expressed his wish for Sneijder to move to Anfield, insisting Liverpool need to sign two more players in the January window. However, it is understood the Reds are more interested in Sneijder's former team-mate Philippe Coutinho.
Earlier this week, the playmaker, who joined Inter from Real Madrid for €15m in 2009, indicated he was ready to move on.
"I spoke a lot with president Moratti because we have a good relationship, we had a good talk, nothing more than that,'' he told inter.it. "He said that it's looking like I'll be off to Galatasaray but there's still a slim chance I could stay? What the president said is exactly right.
"The Inter fans expect me to stay? Inter fans are the best around, I've won everything here and I'm happy here. Now I don't know whether I'll be saying, 'I am happy here' or 'I was happy here'. One of two things could happen, we'll see.''