Internazionale president Massimo Moratti has confirmed that Manchester United have shown an interest in trying to sign Dutch World Cup star Wesley Sneijder from the European champions.
The 26-year-old playmaker helped Inter to the treble of Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia glory last season, before starring for the Netherlands in their run to the World Cup final in South Africa.
A 25million euro fee has been mentioned for Sneijder’s services, but Moratti is unlikely to sanction such a deal.
He told Sky Sport Italia: “The interest from Manchester United in Sneijder is real, but I didn’t look into it in an attempt not to fall into temptation.”
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Meanwhile, Netherlands head coach Bert van Marwijk has set his sights on a World Cup final meeting with Germany, after the Oranje saw off Uruguay 3-2 in the semi-finals.
Goals from Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Sneijder and Arjen Robben sent the Dutch through to their third final, with the winners of Spain and Germany barring their way to glory.
Van Marwijk is not too worried about which European rival they face, but would relish the chance to erase the memory of the 1974 final loss to West Germany.
He said: “I think Spain are playing the best football overall, but Germany are perhaps the best team at this championship.
“I won’t say I prefer to play one team or another, but it would be unique to play Germany after 1974. I don’t think in terms of revenge.”
Germany forward Lukas Podolski is a target for a number of clubs, including Manchester City, after impressing for his country at the World Cup finals.
The 25-year-old currently plays his club football for Koln, having returned to his former employers a year ago after a disappointing three-year stay with Bayern Munich.
However, Podolski may be on the move again this summer, with his representative, Kon Schramm telling the Express newspaper: “There are enquires with regard to Lukas from England, Italy and Spain.”
Premiership Rugby officials have confirmed they have struck a deal with the UK’s leading insurance company, Aviva.
An initial four-year sponsorship deal has been signed and £20million will be distributed over that period.
England’s elite rugby division will be named as the Aviva Premiership and Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty is delighted with the progression of the sport in this country.
He said: “A title sponsorship deal with Aviva is another significant milestone in the growth of Premiership Rugby and provides us with a long-term partnership commitment to our sport and to our work in the community.”
In rugby league, St Helens half-back Kyle Eastmond faces at least six weeks on the sidelines with a troublesome ankle injury.
There are fears that the influential 20-year-old England international may need surgery which would force him to miss the rest of the season.