In January 2013, de Vrij’s name was one of the hottest in England with Liverpool said to be front-runners in an lengthy queue of suitors.
The Dutchman would ultimately stay at Feyenoord, his club since the age of 10, continuing to build his glowing reputation in central defence in his homeland.
Of course, the 22-year-old has not been forgotten by some of the Premier League’s more illustrious sides despite his choice to stay in the Netherlands.
His inclusion in new United boss Louis van Gaal’s provisional World Cup squad has only raised his stock further, and a transfer abroad in the coming months seems a distinct possibility.
But if Liverpool - as well as Spurs or United for that matter - have designs of tabling a bid for the Feyenoord starlet, they may have some catching up to do.
According to Sky Sport Italia’s Ginaluca Di Marzio, it is Serie A giants Lazio that are in pole position for the impressive young centre-back.
De Vrij reportedly visited the Roman outfit’s Formello training ground three weeks ago, and Biancocelesti technical director Igli Tare is negotiating with his current employers.
Roma and Fiorentina are also thought to be in the picture, with Lazio’s movements an effort to pre-empt the competition. Competition that includes Liverpool, Spurs and United - who seemingly run the risk of being beaten to de Vrij by a proactive Lazio.
De Vrij is valued in the region of €12million, a figure Tare may be looking to reduce with his contract set to expire next summer.
If Lazio have indeed stolen a march on Premier League trio for the Dutchman, they could be in for an uphill battle to land a talent long tipped to make the move to England.