Dutch international Wesley Sneijder looks set to sign with Ligue 1 club Nice, after being released from his contract by Turkish side Galatasaray.
Sneijder joins the growing rank of football stars choosing the French championship. Although one of Galatasaray’s biggest ever signings, the Dutch midfielder fell out of favor with the club’s new manager Igor Tudor. The club and player agreed on an amicable split. The player was forced to find a new club. Rumors had it that Sneijder was on his way to the more exotic football location of the Chinese Super Lig. Another team said to have negotiated a deal was Serie A side Sampdoria.
The player was forced to find a new club. Rumors had it that Sneijder was on his way to the more exotic football location of the Chinese Super Lig. Another team said to have negotiated a deal with the Dutchman was Serie A side Sampdoria.
In the end, Netherlands’ most capped international will be moving to Nice. He will be reunited with former Inter team-mate Mario Balotelli, a player whose career enjoyed a great resurgence since moving to France. If the deal is signed in due time, Sneijder could take the field when Nice meet Napoli in the Champions League play-offs.
Galatasaray’s decision to part with the midfielder came as a bit of a surprise given the player’s profile and popularity. Sneijder was also left without the option of joining another Turkish side, with his contract stipulating that a €20m fee would need to be paid to Galata if the player was to rejoin a different Super Lig team within the next three years.
For his part, Sneijder harbored no bitterness about the split, understanding that this is a fact of playing professional football and something which he needs to accept. “The coach made his choice. He made the choice not to work with me. If some coach doesn’t want to work with you then you have to look for something else. If the coach doesn’t want to use you anymore then you don’t have a jersey number.”
The decision to remain in Europe may have also been influenced by Sneijder’s desire challenge for a place in the national team. Dick Advocaat’s return as Holland manager means that a call-up to the team is highly likely if the player is able to secure enough playing time at club level. In June, the 33-year-old managed the impressive feat of becoming Holland’s most capped player.
Sneijder is set to undergo medical exams and it’s likely Nice will issue a statement later today. It’s reported that the player will be signed to a one year contract. The agreement needs to be registered by midnight tonight so that the player can be eligible to play against Serie A side Napoli in the UCL playoffs.