Soccer

Sneijder's future at Inter remains uncertain

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Associated Press
12/3/2012 11:14:47 AM
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MILAN, Italy -- The future of Netherlands playmaker Wesley Sneijder at Inter Milan remains uncertain following a meeting with the club Monday in a failed attempt to resolve a contract dispute.

Sneijder has been sidelined for two months with injury but has now returned to fitness.

Inter caused a stir last month when club director Marco Branca said Sneijder wouldn't play again until he made a decision about his future with a new deal reportedly requiring him to take a pay cut.

"Then today the same person tells me that the squad is chosen by the coach, regardless of the current situation," Sneijder told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf after exiting the meeting with his agent. "How can I accept a new, worse, contract in a situation in which I am not playing and -- worse still -- am not even in the squad?"

Last week, global footballers' union FIFPro highlighted Sneijder's recent exclusion and called for talks about clubs using "blackmail behaviour" to force players into signing new contracts.

"We're trying to see if we can reach an agreement on another basis, otherwise he'll stay and play," Inter president Massimo Moratti said. "The important thing is that he's in form and will play as soon as he can. ... Both sides are using good sense. Now it's up to Sneijder to respond."

Sneijder, who has two years remaining on his current deal, is the highest earner at Inter with a salary of about C6 million ($7.8 million) annually.

The 28-year-old Dutchman, who last played for Inter in September, has long been linked with a move to the Premier League. Manchester United came close to signing the playmaker in the 2011 off-season.

In 2010 under then-Inter coach Jose Mourinho, Sneijder helped Inter to a treble with the Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League titles. However, current coach Andrea Stramaccioni has succeeded with a three-pronged attack of Rodrigo Palacio, Antonio Cassano and Diego Milito.

Sneijder also helped the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final.

Stramaccioni said Sunday that it has been his decision not to use Sneijder, and that he has not been influenced by club management.

Wesley Sneijder (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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