Rome: Wesley Sneijder is untouchable according to Inter Milan, although president Massimo Moratti admitted that Samuel Eto'o's expected departure to Anzhi Makhachkala is in part responsible.
Eto'o is due to complete his big-money move to Russia this week and now Moratti claims Sneijder will be going nowhere, despite constant press speculation linking him with Manchester United.
"We've never been involved in any deals over Wes. If Eto'o does leave then (Sneijder) will stay," said Moratti before confusingly adding: "however Sneijder was untouchable even before this hypothesis and now he is even more so. He's staying."
As for Eto'o, Moratti explained that his sale is intended to allow the club to remain within UEFA's financial fair-play rules which limit the amount of debt club's can accrue.
"When you get an offer of this kind it's difficult to match it or to refuse it," he said.
"Financial fairplay is no laughing matter, it's serious and those who don't respect it will find themselves barred from European competition."
Anzhi are believed to have offered Inter around 22 million euros for Eto'o while they are offering the player an incredible wage believed to be around 15 million euros a season.
But Moratti had soothing words for Inter fans disappointed at the sale, pointing to the fact they let Zlatan Ibrahimovic leave two years ago, when Eto'o arrived, only to go on and win the treble.
"The fans were disappointed when Ibrahimovic left but then you know how that turned out," he said.
Inter are looking to find a repacement but Moratti said it will more likely be Napoli's Ezequiel Lavezzi or Atletico Madrid's Diego Forlan than Manchester City's Carlos Tevez.
"In the end I don't think it will be (Tevez). The names we're working on are (Lavezzi and Forlan), we're looking, we're analysing, we'll see," said Moratti.