It's hard not to show sympathy toward Tottenham Hotspur.
Ten years ago, had Roman Abramovich been on an aisle seat of his private jet rather than the window then he would never have seen Stamford Bridge. Two minutes before seeing a birds-eye-view of the SW6 ground, he was so impassioned for Spurs that he was ready to buy the North London club.
Had he have bought Spurs then the Lilywhites may have instead gone on to parade the silverware that is currently kept behind lock and key inside Chelsea's trophy room.
In recent weeks, tactical guru and managerial don Louis van Gaal was - like Abramovich in 2003 - "very close" to joining Tottenham. The Dutch maestro cited club legends like Jimmy Greaves - "he was my idol" - for how "very close" he was to signing for Spurs, instead of Manchester United.
According to Netherlands captain Robin van Persie, there is a unity in the Netherlands camp - a team spirit and togetherness that has been fostered by van Gaal, as a traditionally fractious Oranje are fighting for the same goal; FIFA World Cup success.
It is believed van Gaal will create a similar mood in the United dressing-room whilst also adhering to Stretford culture in bringing through young and exciting players.
One of van Persie's team-mates for Holland is one of those young and exciting players. Just not yet a United player, too.
This player, not exciting due to being an attacker, but exciting in terms of career upside, is regarded to be a star-in-the-making. He is a physically-strong athlete and, despite only being 22, he has been accustomed to first-team football at Feyenoord for five years.
That player is centre back Stephan de Vrij - and Tottenham Hotspur are impressed (Daily Star).
However, could Spurs once again attract sympathy for failing to land a target due to circumstances outside of their control?
While de Vrij is also linked with Liverpool (Daily Star), the player would no doubt favour a move to United, where he could link-up with a manager he knows all too well - van Gaal - as it is he who had the faith in him to give him his international debut as well as a further ten caps after that (11 in total).
While there is great experience in midfield and attack, due to the presence of Nigel de John, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and van Persie, there is relative inexperience at the back, yet talent can compensate for any lack of international pedigree - as is the case of de Vrij.
Spurs have also been linked with de Vrij's Feyenoord team-mate Daryl Janmaat, Ben Davies and Ryan Bertrand.