Real cash in on Dutch duo
Manuel Pellegrini has admitted he was reluctant to let Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder leave Real.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 28/08/09 6:23pm
Manuel Pellegrini has admitted he was reluctant to let Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder leave Real Madrid.
But the Real coach acknowledged that the sale of the Dutch duo was necessary to balance the books at the Bernabeu after some extravagant summer spending.
Winger Robben completed a move to Bayern Munich on Friday for a fee of around 25million euros (£22m), while midfielder Sneijder has joined Inter Milan for 15m euros (£13.2m).
"They are two good players who would have been useful to us," Pellegrini said ahead of his new side's Primera Liga opener against Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.
Real president Florentino Perez is seeking to recoup some of the 250m euros (£220m) he has splashed out on the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso since regaining the reins at Real in June.
Robben, 25, has signed a four-year deal with German giants Bayern after scoring 11 goals in 50 league appearances for Real, who he joined from Chelsea for around 27m euros (£24m) in 2007.
Sneijder joined the same summer for a similar amount, going on to score 11 goals in 52 league games before signing a four-year deal with Inter.
The 25-year-old revealed that coach Jose Mourinho was a major factor in him joining the Italian champions although he is unlikely to feature in Saturday's derby clash with AC Milan.
"Mourinho is one of the world's greatest coaches," Sneijder told Inter's official website.
"I'm really happy to be able to work with him and he has had a really important role in this decision.
"I think Inter is an amazing club, one of the biggest in the world, so I'm very happy to be here," he added.
"We have a great team at the moment so I think I will have a great time here."
Real had already offloaded Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to AC Milan this month while Rafael van der Vaart could be the latest Dutchman to leave as the midfielder is on the transfer list and recently rejected a move to Turkish champions Besiktas.
Yet two more Dutchmen remain with the Spanish giants - striker Ruud van Nistelrooy and young winger Royston Drenthe - and they are expected to survive the summer overhaul.