Manchester United have allegedly been dealt a huge boost in their protracted efforts to lure Wesley Sneijder to Old Trafford, after Inter Milan reportedly dropped their lofty valuation of the Serie A star.
Italian publication Sportmediaset claims Manchester United are due to discuss a possible deal for their long-term target with Inter sporting director Marco Branca over the next few weeks.
The aforementioned source intimates the Serie A giants are willing to drop their £35 million price-tag in order to entice Manchester United in to reigniting their lengthy overture of the talismanic Dutchman.
The report indicates Inter Milan are endeavouring a rapid regeneration of a squad that has at times underwhelmed this season, and suggests any monies earned from Manchester United will be immediately reinvested in their ageing side. Sao Paulo sensation Lucas Rodrigues, who is ironically on the radar of a host of Premier League clubs, including United, is believed to be one of their primary targets should Sneijder engineer his exit from the San Siro.
The 27-year-old has long been associated with a move to Manchester United but thus far a deal has looked increasingly unlikely given the Holland international's high valuation and more pertinently his excessive wage demands.
In the summer Manchester United were believed to have held talks with the former Real Madrid star, only to be deterred by his personal terms which reportedly exceed £200,000 a week.
In August last year, Sneijder confirmed Manchester United's interest in his services but a deal never materialised.
"Manchester United haven't made an official approach yet." The diminutive playmaker said. "But there have been unofficial talks, there have been contacts. But then there are always contacts.
"The situation is that I am now an Inter player, and chances are that I will still be that come August 31. There is also a chance I could leave."
Sir Alex Ferguson has regularly distanced Manchester United from heightening rumours purporting to an active January at Old Trafford, suggesting they would only pursue one of their long-term targets if they were to become available.
"I am perfectly happy with the strength of our squad in terms of depth, quality and age range." The Manchester United manager said last month. "I will not be swayed by endless tweets and blogs urging the club to get busy in the transfer market next month."
The Manchester United supremo concluded: "You can never say never in football, of course, because fortunes can fluctuate wildly - that's the football world. If a really top-class player became available, then we would go for him, or if we picked up any further serious injuries, it might be important to add to our squad."
Manchester United's failure to sign a playmaker in the summer has been widely credited as the reason for their apparent malaise this season. Ferguson was associated with moves for Luka Modric and Samir Nasri, as well as the aforementioned Sneijder, yet the Red Devils failed to compensate for the loss of the retired Paul Scholes.
Instead Manchester United embarked on their title defence at the beginning of the season relying on the relatively inexperienced Tom Cleverley as their primary creative midfielder.
At the end of the December, Ferguson conceded Cleverley's injury problems this season has been a major problem for Manchester United given the 22-year-old's stunning start to the season, but he gave a fleeting insight as to why he perhaps felt a deal for Sneijder was not necessary.
"Cleverley's a massive loss." The Manchester United manager told the club's official website. "He, to my mind, is probably the best midfield player in Britain, potentially. He has fantastic promise, so it's a loss to us."
Manchester United meakly succumbed to Newcastle at St James' Park on Wednesday night, when their central midfield pairing of Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick was patently overrun by Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye.
Although deal for the aforementioned Sneijder appears unlikely at this stage, reports in Italy indicate a greater willingness to part with the reputed Manchester United target. Inter president Massimo Moratti has reportedly informed Sneijder's agent, Soren Lerby, that Manchester United or indeed any of the Dutchman's other suitors need only pay €25 million.