Reported Liverpool target Stephan El Shaarawy could be offered to Galatasaray by AC Milan in an attempt to bring Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder to the San Siro, according to the Daily Star's Nick Lustig.
However, with the report also suggesting that both Chelsea and Manchester United are eyeing a move for Sneijder, a deal will be far from straightforward.
Regarding El Shaarawy's involvement in a deal, Lustig writes:
Despite Galatasaray president Unal Aysal claiming he has no intention of letting the midfield playmaker leave the club, according to reports in Italy Milan are readying a bid to tempt Sneijder back to Italy.
Current Gala coach Roberto Mancini is keen to add to his squad and wants to bring Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy to Turkey in the new year.
The Italians are now ready to offer El Shaarawy, who has been linked with Liverpool and Tottenham, as part of a deal which would bring Sneijder to the San Siro.
Liverpool fans need not feel too concerned by the news, given that Galatasaray are reported to have major financial issues, which would make a player exchange deal somewhat unattractive.
A Bloomberg report by Ercan Ersoy and Taylan Bilgic indicated that the Turkish club have $57 million worth of debt due to be repaid in the next 12 months, despite the side having splashed out on sizeable additions to the wage bill in Sneijder and Didier Drogba in January.
There is, of course, reason to doubt that El Shaarawy—highly rated within the Italy setup—would want to go to Turkey when his admirers reportedly include both Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool, according to the Express' Ben Jefferson.
Whether Milan would really part with one of their best-rated young players in order to secure the signing of Sneijder, 29, is also highly debatable.
El Shaarawy has barely featured for the Rossoneri this season, having picked up a metatarsal injury in October after a muscle problem kept him out of the opening weeks of the new campaign, per FIFA.com.
Given his fitness woes, reports would appear to suggest that Milan are beginning to consider parting with their top league goalscorer of last season, still just 21.
However, he would still cost £25 million, according to the Daily Star's Jack Wilson last month, effectively ruling out any involvement in a Galatasaray deal involving Sneijder—who would cost nowhere near that amount at the current stage of his career.