Ostracised Sneijder refusing to play ball
Soccer:Wesley Sneijder has cast fresh doubt on his future at Inter Milan after reportedly refusing to re-negotiate his deal with the club.
Sneijder is contracted to the Nerazzurri until 2015 but is currently involved in a dispute with his employers, who are rumoured to be pushing the influential playmaker to take a pay cut.
He met with club officials today in a bid to resolve the situation although a statement released by his management to www.ad.nlwould seem to suggest the matter is not yet closed.
“There is little reason for me to sign,” he said, before adding: "How can I, in this position - where I don't play and even more so don't even make the squad - accept a new, worse contract?"
This is in stark contrast to what Inter president Massimo Moratti told reporters outside his offices in Milan. The 67-year-old, who last week denied accusations the Serie A club were blackmailing one of their key players, expressed his belief that today’s meeting was a success.
“I think a lot of this has come from the media and obviously we’re trying to agree on certain things, otherwise he’ll stay at the club. What’s important is that he’s fit and playing well, that’s all I care about,” he said. “I’ve spoken to those who attended the meeting. They sounded quite pleased, both parties behaved sensibly. Now it’s up to them, it’s up to Sneijder, who is still an Inter player of course. We’ll see.”
The former Real Madrid midfielder has been a peripheral figure at the San Siro recently and was left out of the side that limped to a 1-0 win over Palermo yesterday.
He has not featured for the Italian giants since September, with a thigh injury keeping him on the sidelines for some of that time, but head coach Andrea Stramaccioni insists the contract wrangle is not the reason for his absence.
“My view — as someone who has only experienced this level of football for a short time — is that we should be careful when using terms such as ‘victimised’,” he told reporters. “If someone who earns €1,000 a month heard us, we’d look a bit silly. It’s my job to decide who’s in the best shape to play and I do so, I make my decisions and I stand by them, so let’s please avoid talking about someone being ‘victimised’.
“It’s my job to pick the best team available, and at the moment I’m not picking him.
“This has nothing to do with his contract, I have to select the team and Inter come first.
“It’s not a case of the president telling me not to pick Sneijder, I pick the team. And I think it’s outrageous to suggest Sneijder is being ‘victimised’.”