Manchester United transfer news: Wesley Sneijder turned down chance to join United as he wanted to play in the Champions League

Sneijder has praised Louis van Gaal but revealed that he snubbed a move to join him in the Premier League

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The Independent Football

Galatasaray captain Wesley Sneijder has revealed he turned down a move to Manchester United this summer because the club are no longer in the Champions League.

Sneijder revealed his decision not to join the Red Devils earlier this year before Galatasaray’s heavy 4-1 defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday, having been linked with a move to United in recent years. The attacking midfielder has also spoken positively about Dutchman, who coached Sneijder with the Netherlands national side, and labelled him one of the best managers in the world.

“Louis (Van Gaal) is one of the most intelligent men in football - and I knew of Manchester United's interest in the summer,” revealed Sneijder, now 30 years old.

“It was flattering - but I am very happy in Turkey - and it is very hard to leave Champions League football.”

United were first linked with Sneijder while he was still with Inter Milan, when Sir Alex Ferguson was a known admirer of his.


The Netherlands international was required to utilise some of his captaincy skills that may not have been tested previously on Wednesday night, as he was required to run over to the Galatasaray fans in an attempt to calm them down as they rained flares down onto the pitch. The match has to temporarily halted while the flares, which burnt sections of the Emirates pitch, were removed from the playing surface and put out by stewards and Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.

Van Gaal wanted Sneijder to join him at Manchester United

He was unable to prevent the Turkish side succumbing to the Gunners 4-1 in what was an easy win for Arsene Wenger’s side, although they still managed to have their own goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny sent-off after he brought down Burak Yilmaz when he was through on goal.