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Wednesday 16 August 2017

Sneijder - I snubbed Reds due to Champions League

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.

INTELLIGENT

"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 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.

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.

Meanwhile, Marouane Fellaini is set to give Manchester United a timely boost ahead of their match against his former team Everton on Sunday by making a return from an ankle injury.

United's squad has been crippled by injuries this season, with currently nine players out injured.

Fellaini returned to full training this week, and now has a chance to feature in the fixture at Old Trafford this weekend.

The Belgian midfielder's United career has failed to ignite since his £27m move away from Everton in September 2013, with the player still looking for that elusive first goal for the club.

He was linked with a transfer away from United during the summer, with Serie A side Napoli interested.

Fellaini, however, recently confirmed his decision to stay and fight for his place at United.

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