Rio defends £43m Ajax star after Sneijder slam as Man Utd transfer advantage over Chelsea revealed

Chelsea target Alvarez Credit: Alamy
Chelsea target Alvarez Credit: Alamy

Wesley Sneijder says Edson Alvarez is “of no use” to Ajax but Rio Ferdinand disagrees, as Manchester United vie with Chelsea over his January transfer.

Chelsea reportedly had a £43m bid for Alvarez turned down at the end of the summer window, with United also said to be sniffing around the Ajax star.

Ahead of Liverpool’s 3-0 win over the Dutch side on Wednesday, former Ajax playmaker Sneijder warned potential suitors against a move for the Mexican international.

“Edson Alvarez plays every ball backwards or sideways, he’s of no use,” Sneijder said. “They [Ajax] should have taken him to London quickly. You could have signed two good players for that [the £43m Chelsea offered in the summer].”

Responding to those comments from the Dutchman, Ferdinand and his BT Sport colleague Peter Crouch strongly disagreed.

Ferdinand said on BT Sport: “I saw some comments from Wesley Sneijder saying that Ajax should have got rid of him when Chelsea put in a bid for him because he passes the ball backwards.

“But he does some of the stuff you don’t normally see, definitely not Instagrammable. He does the stuff when he breaks the play up and allows the more creative players to go and perform. These types of players are so invaluable and you appreciate them so much because they give you the platform to go and play the football Ajax love to play.”

Crouch added: “He is a player that is key to them, they have a lot of forward-thinking players but he’s the one that likes to sit in midfield. A lot of players have gone and Ajax have sold a number of big players recently.

“You look at Antony, Lisandro Martinez, there is a lot of money in their squad, do they have to sell another one? I don’t think they do and they could keep hold of him and potentially build around him.”

But Dutch outlet De Telegraaf claim Ajax are willing to sell Alvarez in January and Calciomercato believe United hold an advantage over Chelsea should they decide to compete for his signature.

It’s thought the arrivals of former teammates Antony and Lisandro Martinez could be enough to persuade Alvarez to move to Old Trafford over Stamford Bridge.

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