Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson claims his club have "no real interest" in Wesley Sneijder and accepts there is no point worrying about who will replace the newly-retired Paul Scholes.
The Scot has devoted much of his summer to solving the conundrum of who will fill Scholes' boots and, so far, he is still to find an answer.
Of the three players linked most often with a potential Old Trafford move, Luka Modric has made it plain he wishes to leave Tottenham for Chelsea, while Samir Nasri will join Manchester City if he leaves Arsenal - according to Ferguson, at any rate.
It did seem Sneijder was on the brink of leaving Inter Milan, only for Ferguson to claim there was no United interest in the Holland midfielder.
"Time and time again we have faced this problem," he said.
"We have lost great players and you are worrying about it. But eventually something turns up, either through our youth system or we will identify someone."
It was thought Sneijder was that man, with speculation mounting a deal was imminent and discussions had taken place between United chief executive David Gill and Inter Milan officials in Zurich on Wednesday that created the potential for a transfer.
But Ferguson said: "The situation is that there is no real interest in Wesley Sneijder at this moment in time for a lot of reasons.
"There is nothing I can tell you about it. I have not really been involved in it since I came across here."
It is plausible that, taking into account Sneijder's vast wages and a pretty significant transfer fee, the sums just do not add up for United to splash out on a 27-year-old, even if someone will have to fill the void created by Scholes' retirement.
"It is a loss," said Ferguson.
"Paul was a player of a lifetime. In his 20 years at the club, it is hard to pick out a bad game. He was such a consistent player for us.
"I don't think we will find another Paul Scholes. But hopefully we can replace him. Maybe we will find a different type of player."
The search is under way as clearly it is far too early for Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison, two of the stars from last season's FA Youth Cup-winning squad, to make an impact.
"Obviously, there is a bit of work being done on that at the moment by our scouting department," said Ferguson.
"But also we are analysing the capabilities of the young players from our youth team. We will give them that opportunity."Reuse content