ZANETTI IN UNITED TALKS CLAIM
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Jorge Oliva, the player's agent, has revealed that he is prepared to head to England for talks with United over the weekend, although he could be using Sir Alex Ferguson's interest in order to force Real into action.
Zanetti's preference is for a move to La Liga, as he has always insisted that playing for either Real or Barcelona would be a dream, and a transfer to Old Trafford does appear unlikely, particularly if Real are having concerns over his wage demands.
United have already splashed out a British record fee on Veron and the Inter ace is more likely to be employed as a right back due to the overcrowded midfield situation at the club.
"Real Madrid is the first option for Zanetti," confirmed Oliva. "In the meeting we had with Jorge Valdano, we asked for less than $4 million.
"We have not heard from Valdano since then."
Sources in Spain claim that Real are stalling on paying the 28-year-old's salary demands and want to include bonus payments in order to cover the costs. If his wages are presenting a problem for the free-spending Liga giants, then this would surely prove to be an insurmountable problem for United.
Michel Salgado has been offered to Inter in part-exchange, and Geremi Njitap has been lined up for a move to Chelsea, but both of these departures are in the balance and Vicente Del Bosque fancies Deportivo La Coruna's Manuel Pablo as an alternative option.
After being placed on the transfer list at Giuseppe Meazza, it might prove difficult for Zanetti to re-establish himself at Inter, leaving the player in limbo if the big-money transfer collapses.
United could present an option to him, after Ferguson trailed the South American for much of last summer, but it seems that any fresh interest may be used to provoke Real into closing their negotiations for the former Banfield man.