Manchester United's reported interest in Dutch striker Wout Weghorst has surprised many - not least one of the Netherlands' greatest players of recent years.
Wesley Sneijder spoke to the Dutch media about the rumoured transfer this week, and could not fathom why the 20-times English champions had seemingly turned to Weghorst as their preferred forward option in the transfer window.
Speaking to Dutch TV show Veronica Offside, Sneijder said that the supposed interest in Weghorst "must be a stunt" from United.
Wesley Sneijder baffled by Manchester United pursuit of Weghorst
With Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani having left the club in recent months, and Anthony Martial inconsistent at the best of times, Manchester United have been left light up front coming into the January transfer window.
The somewhat surprising option they appear to have turned to is Dutch striker Wout Weghorst, currently on loan at Besiktas from Burnley.
Excl: Manchester United have reached full, verbal agreement to sign Wout Weghorst! Understand deal will cost around €3m to Besiktas — Weghorst will join on loan from Burnley. 🚨🔴 #MUFC
Final step needed: Besiktas will only approve the deal if they find the right replacement. pic.twitter.com/3lLOoyA6h2
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 10, 2023
Weghorst's half season in the Premier League with Burnley was less than successful, with the Dutchman scoring just two goals in 20 appearances, in a season which saw Burnley relegated to the Championship.
Nonetheless, he impressed at the World Cup, scoring two goals in the Netherlands' dramatic quarter-final exit to eventual champions Argentina, including a brilliantly worked free-kick routine with the last kick of the game.
🇳🇱 2-2 🇦🇷 - ET to come
Wout Weghorst with the Dutch leveller. Dramatic
📺 Watch live now on @RTE2 and @RTEplayer: https://t.co/2a31t0nJdX
📱 Live updates: https://t.co/WYLR1TyMV2#FifaWorldCup #NEDARG #rtsoccer pic.twitter.com/9p1hGLtPir
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) December 9, 2022
Despite his form at the World Cup, the move has come as a surprise to most football fans, and Dutch legend Wesley Sneijder cannot fathom why Manchester United are attempting to make the short-term loan signing of Weghorst.
Speaking to Veronica Offside, Sneijder said of the prospective move:
Surely not, I would find that very strange. Maybe they've seen the trick with the free-kick, but I don't think they fall for that in England anymore!
In terms of a striker, is he really someone United are waiting for? I don't think so. They still have about 300 of those in the Premier League. It must be a stunt, it really can't be true.
The move for Weghorst is a strange one, though it may make sense to add another forward player for squad depth, given the momentum that Manchester United have gained in recent weeks.
Manager Erik Ten Hag - a fellow Dutchman - is thought to be keen on signing Weghorst, on a six-month loan to the end of the season. With two strikers out of the picture, and another unreliable for regular goals, the move begins to make a bit more sense.
It seems as though Besiktas are unhappy with the interest in their striker, however, and they released a statement denying that Weghorst would be departing the club any time soon.
— Shamoon Hafez (@ShamoonHafez) January 9, 2023
We will see how this situation pans out, but one thing is for sure - we certainly weren't expecting Wout Weghorst to be the name linked with Old Trafford this January.