The transfer window was still a month away when it became clear that Wesley Sneijder was highly likely to leave Inter during it. The club's attempts to force the midfielder into a wage reduction led to a situation where a parting of ways was the only option for both parties.
In the run up to the New Year the Premier League seemed Sneijder's most likely destination, with Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool reported as interested in taking the player in a cut price deal. However as no bid came, Sneijder inched closer to an unexpected move to Turkey to play for Galatasaray.
Inter have confirmed the deal is close, as have the Turkish club, but it appears that Sneijder is happy to hold off agreeing the move in the hope that a bid from an English club could still arrive. Each new day is declared to be decision time, but in reality all the ingredients are there that could make this saga rumble on and on.
Inter are desperate to sell the player, and for all their attempts to force Sneijder to make a decision he knows the club cannot threaten him with anything as the worst situation for them would be if he decides to stay.
Galatasaray might be prepared to pull out a move, which could leave Sneijder stranded if no English bid comes, but they are understandably keen to sign the player, and will probably wait for some time for his decision.
Sneijder himself clearly does not fancy a move to Turkey, and is viewing it purely as an escape route from Inter. With that in mind he will try and delay any move as long as possible to give other teams a chance to bid for him. Any bids might be more likely later in the window if teams like Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and PSG cannot acquire other targets.
So whatever the reports are, there's a considerable chance that the Sneijder saga could run until the end of the transfer window, and if he does move to Galatasaray, there's even the chance that a transfer to England will be mooted again in the summer.
image: © Patrick de Laive