World Football Gossip Roundup: Wesley Sneijder, Mario Balotelli, Jose Mourinho
The saga is finally over. We think.
Wesley Sneijder is reportedly on his way out of Inter Milan, two weeks after Inter accepted an offer for him and more than three months since playing for the Italian club.
That story leads this Monday edition of the B/R World Football Gossip Roundup. Inside, we also have updates on Arsenal's quest for new blood, Mario Balotelli's future and Jose Mourinho's relationship with his players at Real Madrid.
Wesley Sneijder Agrees to Join Galatasaray
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Wesley Sneijder has agreed to join Turkish champions Galatasaray, ending a drawn-out departure from Inter Milan (via The Guardian).
Sneijder, a 28-year-old Dutch international midfielder, had not played for Inter Milan since September. The player and club had been involved in a contract dispute over Sneijder's wages.
Galatasaray and Inter Milan agreed two weeks ago on an £8 million fee for Sneijder's transfer. Liverpool were also thought to be interested.
Said Sneijder (per The Guardian):
It will be amazing and the atmosphere will be nice. I can't wait to go there and play my first game. I will make the Galatasaray fans very proud and very happy. I'm looking forward to meeting them and making a good life together.
Inter manager Andrea Stramaccioni said (per Inter.it): "I’m waiting to speak with the president, but as I’ve already said – in one way or another – it was important to bring things to a close."
Sneijder added that he hopes to debut for Galatasaray against Besiktas on Jan. 27.
Arsenal Linked with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoann Gourcuff
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Arsenal are being linked with various players after Sunday's 2-1 loss at Chelsea.
According to the Daily Mail, Lyon have offered French midfielder Yoann Gourcuff (pictured) to Arsenal on loan. Lyon reportedly want to take Gourcuff's salary of £80,000 per week off their books.
Also according to the Mail's report, Arsenal have shown interest in Celtic's 21-year-old Kenyan midfielder/defender Victor Wanyama.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror reports that Arsenal are trying to "hijack" Newcastle's move for Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Newcastle have reportedly agreed a £6.7 million fee for the French international.
Manchester City to Unload Mario Balotelli This Week?
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Despite reports to the contrary, Mario Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola says there's no way his man is on the move, telling Italian radio station GR Parlamento:
"There is no negotiation for Balotelli with any club, no meeting, zero. It seems like a Grimm Brothers' fairy tale.
"Manchester City won't sell Mario, let alone loan. There are zero chances he moves. But until January 31st, who knows."
Still, Balotelli could leave Manchester City for AC Milan this week, according to The Guardian.
Milan and City are reportedly expected to hold talks over the 22-year-old Italian international striker on Monday. City reportedly want a transfer fee of £31 million after paying Inter Milan £24 million for Balotelli in 2010.
If the clubs do not agree on a transfer fee, Balotelli could join AC Milan on loan for the rest of the season, according to the report.
Balotelli was an unused substitute in City's victory over Fulham on Saturday in the English Premier League.
Jose Mourinho in Conflict with Real Madrid Players?
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Former Real Madrid defender Míchel Salgado says manager Jose Mourinho has a "rift" with several current players, according to a Russian interview cited by Marca.
Mourinho, 49, joined Real Madrid after leading Inter Milan to the UEFA Champions League title in May 2010. He also won the European title with Porto and the Premier League twice with Chelsea.
The Portuguese manager has reportedly had a disagreement with No. 1 keeper Iker Casillas throughout the season. Salgado, who played for Real from 1999 to 2009, said:
I don't think Mourinho has a rift specifically with Casillas, but rather with the whole dressing room. I think the coach needs to make the first move and hold a meeting with everyone to discuss the situation and clear the air.
Yann M'Vila Headed to Rubin Kazan?
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French midfielder Yann M'Vila appears set for a move from Rennes to Rubin Kazan, according to L'Equipe (via ESPN FC).
M'Vila, 22, had been linked with Premier League club Queens Park Rangers in the current transfer window. Arsenal reportedly showed interest last summer.
Rubin have reportedly bid €11.5 million for M'Vila.