LIVERPOOL FC are ready to test whether Inter Milan outcast Wesley Sneijder is serious over claims he would take a pay cut to join the right club.
Sneijder, who currently earns a mammoth £6.5million a year after tax, is expected to leave Inter during this month’s transfer window.
The Holland international has already been offered a deal worth £100,000 net per week by Galatasaray after the Turkish side agreed a £6.3m fee for the player.
But Sneijder’s reluctance to move to Istanbul, despite pressure to make a firm decision over the weekend, has kept the door ajar for interested Premier League clubs.
And the chances of him moving to Anfield have been further enhanced with the 28-year-old willing to slash his salary to leave the San Siro.
Such news will be welcomed by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who is an admirer of Sneijder and is keen to bolster his squad with at least one experienced face this month.
Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group have been on a cost-cutting drive since the end of last season with many high earners, such as Alberto Aquilani and Joe Cole, having been moved on.
The Americans have not intended to spend big again during this transfer window following the £12m signing of Daniel Sturridge but the availability of world-class talent such as Sneijder could test that resolve, provided the Dutchman substantially lowers his wage demands.
“Daniel was our main priority and we'll have to see what else is available,” said Rodgers yesterday.
“There's no doubt we need to support the group. We had 20 players training this morning, of which some of those are our younger players, so we know we need to reinforce and top up the group. That's something we'll look to do.
“If we can do it then great and if not, then we'll wait until the summer.”
While no official inquiry has been made, Sneijder is aware of Liverpool’s interest and would be receptive to talks with the Anfield outfit.
And of his destination on leaving Inter, he said: “It’s not a question of money. Look, like all of the players who have to decide what to do and where to go before January 31, I have that time.
“I’m not in a rush and I won’t be rushed. I am considering my options.”
Sneijder, a World Cup finalist with Holland in 2010, had earlier that season won the treble of Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League having joined Inter at the start of the campaign.
The midfielder, though, hasn’t made an appearance since September, with Inter technical director Marco Branca later stating Sneijder would not play until he made a decision about his future.
“After all that has happened in the last few months, in a context in which I and my other team-mates have made football history, I don’t want to feel that they are putting pressure on me,” added Sneijder.
“My doubts do not have anything to do with the offers that I have received, it’s only that after everything I have done I don’t want to feel like this, almost forced to make an important life decision in a short space of time.”
Galatasaray are pressing for a definitive response from Sneijder, and their president Unal Aysal said yesterday: “We'll wait another three or four days for Sneijder.
“If the deal collapses, we have alternatives. Our deal with Inter is worth €7.5m (£6.3m).
“The player knows our proposal. Inter are now calculating things with him. Our offer for his wages is below €5.5m. I see no reason why the transfer should not go through.”
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Liverpool right-back Jon Flanagan will be sidelined for three months after suffering a knee injury while playing for the under-21 side against Southampton on Monday.