Serie A club look to be leading the race for the signing of Feyenoord defender Stefan de Vrij.
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Manchester United are set to receive a blow in the transfer market, according to the Express, who are reporting that centre back target Stefan de Vrij is moving ever closer to a deal with Serie A club Lazio.
The Express quote Lazio sporting director Igli Tare as saying:
“Many things have been said and written about De Vrij and his transfer to United but this is not true.”
“His agent has said clearly that he has never been to Manchester to meet with the English club. De Vrij’s will is to play in Lazio.”
These words suggest that the club from the Italian capital have been leading the way for the signature of de Vrij all along, despite some reports suggesting that he was on the verge of completing a move from the Eredivisie to Old Trafford.
The Dutchman has been a key part of new United manager Louis van Gaal’s impressive defensive set-up whilst with the Netherlands, playing in a back three alongside club teammate Bruno Martins Indi and Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar.
If United are chasing de Vrij and were to miss out to Lazio it would be a blow to be beaten to a player by a club who had a similarly disappointing season to United last season in Serie A, but aren’t widely seen to retain the same global allure as the Red Devils.
One of van Gaal’s key jobs at Old Trafford this summer will be bringing in central defenders, with experienced partnership Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic both having left the club on free transfers this summer.