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Manchester United put off by Inter Milan’s £35 million valuation of Wesley Sneijder

Manchester United fear the financial cost is becoming a growing obstacle in their attempt to sign the Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder alhough it is understood the Dutchman could yet move to Old Trafford if the Italian club relent on their £35 million valuation.

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Senior figures at United suggested that interest in the 27 year-old had ended and that Sneijder’s £190,000-a-week salary demands would break the club’s pay ceiling.

Sir Alex Ferguson, speaking in Seattle last night, hinted at the barriers which have led United to review their moves to sign Sneijder. He said: “There is no real interest in Sneijder at this moment in time for a lot of reasons. I’ve not been involved in that since I came over here.”

Pointedly, however, Ferguson did not say that the deal might not eventually happen.

Ferguson also dismissed concerns over the inexperience of Manchester United’s 20-year-old summer recruit, David de Gea, by claiming the Spanish goalkeeper can emulate Chelsea’s Petr Cech in the Premier League.

De Gea, who signed for £18.3 million from Atlético Madrid, is due to link up with his new team-mates here this weekend after being signed to replace Edwin van der Sar. Ferguson, who intends to give him his United debut against Seattle Sounders on Wednesday, believes Cech’s success at Chelsea, after arriving as a 22 year-old, justifies his faith in De Gea.

“I went to see Petr Cech when he was at Rennes,” Ferguson said. “He was 19 at the time and I said to myself, ‘yeah, he’s too young’. But Chelsea bought him not long afterwards for £7 million or something and he’s never been out of the team.

“So youth/age doesn’t matter when you have the ability of a goalkeeper like Petr Cech, or we know David de Gea has. He’s young, he’s quick and he has fantastic presence and composure. His use of the ball is outstanding. So all of these plus points are things that don’t go away. He’s got these natural things.”

De Gea will be given a personalised training programme to help him add bulk to his slender frame ahead of his first campaign in England.

New signing Ashley Young made his first appearance for United in yesterday’s 4-1 victory against New England Revolution, courtesy of goals from Michael Owen, Federico Macheda (2) and Ji-sung Park.

Meanwhile, Antonio Valencia has returned to Manchester for treatment after suffering an ankle injury on duty for Ecuador at the Copa America.

Ferguson said: “It’s nothing serious, but there’s no point in him coming out here if he’s injured.”

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