Are Manchester United about to sign Wesley Sneijder?

Rumours are running rampant that Galatasaray captain Wesley Sneijder is seeking an exit from Istanbul and looking to make a long-awaited move to the Premier League.

Sneijder joined the Turkish outfit in January 2013 following a move from Serie A club Inter Milan after a reported disagreement over his wages and contract.

Manchester United have held a long-term interest in the Dutch playmaker and he could be ready to move to Old Trafford, thereby linking up with former manager Louis Van Gaal who managed him during his time as Holland coach between 2012 and 2014.

It’s understood that Galatasaray are seeking a fee of around £9million to offload the talented 30-year-old, but it’s not just Manchester United who are interested – Southampton have reportedly been informed of his availability but his hefty pay packet could scupper a move for him to join the south-coast side.

Embed from Getty Images

The Dutchman has amassed numerous major honours during his incredible playing career, winning the Eredivisie with Ajax, La Liga with Real Madrid, Serie A at Inter Milan and a Super Lig with current club Galatasaray.

He was part of Jose Mourinho’s treble winning side that lifted the Champions League in the 2009/10 season, as well as the Holland squad that finished runners-up to Spain at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

After Galatasaray’s shambolic Champions League campaign this season, Sneijder could be ready to jump ship and join Champions League hopefuls Manchester United in January which would see him link up with international team-mates Robin Van Persie and Daley Blind.

Will Manchester United finally sign Wesley Sneijder?

Advertisements

Is Tottenham’s transfer policy hindering their progression?

Jamie Ives takes a look at where it has all gone wrong for Tottenham Hotspur in the past couple of seasons, and asks if the club’s transfer policy needs to change.

It was only two years ago that Spurs were being touted as potential title contenders following a strong flurry of performances that saw them climb into the top three in the Premier League.

However, their recent transfer policy has been questionable at best and if anything they are signing players that are worse than the players they are selling.

The best example of this point is the recent sale of Sandro – a former fan favourite, for the unbeknown Benjamin Stambouli. I’m sure that Stambouli could more than do a job for Spurs in the league and needs time to adapt, but his game time has been limited this season so far and Sandro was a first-team regular for nearly three seasons.

The biggest name to depart in the Spurs exodus was of course Gareth Bale, who joined Real Madrid for a world-record transfer fee of around £85 million. However, I think the player they miss the most is Luka Modric. The Croatian star was the one player that could open a defence with one pass and turn the opposition in an instance. Spurs have yet to replace him.

Embed from Getty Images

The Tottenham midfield has lacked this type of player since Modric departed. And only got by without him because of the genius of Bale during the 2012/13 season.

Once Bale left, the squad had a huge influx of players including Erik Lamela (£30m), Roberto Soldado (£25.8m) and Paulinho (£17m). Though it’s fair to say that all three of them have failed to show their worth.

They also managed to sell two promising England internationals, in Steven Caulker and Jake Livermore, which left their intentions unjust.

While long-term Spurs stars like Tom Huddlestone, Michael Dawson and Jermain Defoe have also moved on to make way for a new side that has struggled to find its own identity.

There must come a point when Spurs realise that what they are best at is producing players and not purchasing them.

Embed from Getty Images

Franco Baldini has a lot to answer for as technical director. He arrived in the summer before Bale was sold and between him and chairman Daniel Levy, all of that money was blown without much to show for.

However, it is not all doom and gloom at White Hart Lane, as the likes of Harry Kane, Ryan Mason, Danny Rose and Andros Townsend (all from the Spurs academy) look set for game time under Mauricio Pochettino.

Embed from Getty Images

Don’t miss: Is Harry Kane Tottenham’s best striker?

There is no doubt that Spurs’ season will pick up. But there needs to come a time, pretty soon, where they can take the next step and mount a strong challenge for success.

Changing manager year after year will not move the team forward, and a rethink at the very top of the club is what is needed to get Tottenham back on track.

What do you make of Tottenham’s transfer policy? What needs to change at Spurs?

Alan Pardew: Back from the dead

Premier League managers aren’t strangers to being criticised for the decisions they make and find themselves coming under fire on a regular basis.

When Newcastle United lost 1-0 away at Stoke City on September 29, they were condemned to their third defeat of the season in just six games.

Crisis

At the time, it looked as though there was only going to be one outcome for manager Alan Pardew and his eventual departure seemed to be a case of when as opposed to if it will happen.

There was certainly a feeling of inevitability that he will be sacked as we have seen only too often when teams are struggling as it’s very rare that any manager is given time to make amends these days and most chairmen hit the panic button.

During the defeat at Stoke and in previous games, fans held up signs calling for Pardew to be axed and even set up a website named sackpardew.com.

Embed from Getty Images

Turnaround

Six games later and how things have changed as 42 days is a very long time in football and the turnaround in performances, results, atmosphere and the general feeling around the whole club is quite remarkable.

Following the Stoke game, Pardew said:

“I’m not going to hide from it – I know there is a big question mark about me being at this club and the only way I can answer it is to do the job to the best of my ability and try to come up with the answers.”

It’s fair to say that he is on his way to answering those questions.

Of course there will still be those who want Pardew gone – that may never change – but grumblings from the crowd have hit a lull which shows just how fickle a sport it can be at times.

He appears to have saved his job for the time being and has turned how the season looks so far completely on its head.

Embed from Getty Images

Great management

Credit where it is due must be given and the manner in which he has dealt with the situation with a fantastic level of maturity and professionalism is impressive.

He’s managed to stay strong in the face of adversity, never shied away from the challenge and simply let the results do the talking.

It’s easy for negative energy to spread from the stands on to the pitch and the players feel those vibes and the way he has controlled the situation has been excellent.

The capability to motivate the players to perform when morale couldn’t possibly get any lower is a real credit to the man who is currently the second longest serving manager in the Premier League with one club.

It’s very refreshing to see a Premier League manager pull through a whirlwind of abuse and tough times to bounce back and recover when there looked to be no way back.

Embed from Getty Images

Good run of form

Newcastle are now on a five-game unbeaten run in league with four wins and a draw since the Stoke loss.

They’re also six games unbeaten in all competitions courtesy of a stunning 2-0 win at Manchester City in the League Cup on October 29.

Embed from Getty Images

They host Queens Park Rangers on November 22 at St James’ Park and will fancy their chances of extending their unbeaten run against the struggling Londoners.

How high can Newcastle United finish in the Premier League?

Bradley Wright-Phillips cements place in MLS history with tied goalscoring record

Bradley Wright-Phillips made history on Sunday as he fired himself in to the record books by becoming the joint highest goalscorer in an MLS season.

His brace in Kansas helped New York Red Bulls to a 2-0 win and in the process took his tally to 27 goals – a number only previously achieved by Chris Wondolowski of San Jose Earthquakes in 2012 and Roy Lassiter of the now dissolved Tampa Bay Mutiny in 1996.

Out of the three strikers that share the record, he managed to amass his goals in the least game time with 2,573 minutes spent on the pitch compared to the 2,813 minutes and 2,580 minutes that it took Wondolowski and Lassiter respectively.

He started less games and also managed to record the highest number of shots-on-target out of the three.

BWP StatsOther than one great season at Charlton Athletic in the 2011/12 campaign, Wright-Phillips was a player struggling to find his feet in the English game and the epiphany to join Major League Soccer must be a moment he looks back on with great fondness having now established himself as one of the sport’s truly great players.

Crossing the Atlantic is undoubtedly one of the boldest but greatest moves he has made in his career and now he’s reaping the rewards as well as hunting down MLS Cup glory with New York Red Bulls.

Embed from Getty Images

Winning the golden boot and equalling the record is a wonderful achievement for the Englishman but his work for the season is far from over as attentions turn immediately to the Eastern Conference knockout round where New York will take on Sporting Kansas City at the Red Bull Arena on Thursday.

The way he performs in the knockout round and the further potential playoff games will be vital to the Red Bulls if they are to stand any chance of making the MLS Cup Final on Sunday 7th December.

Can Bradley Wright-Phillips fire New York Red Bulls to MLS Cup success?