Lazio reportedly closing in on €10m defender – can Manchester United still swoop in?

Lazio are reportedly struggling to meet Feyenoord’s valuation for Netherlands international defender Stefan de Vrij – has the door for Manchester United opened again?

Pretty much half of the Netherlands’ 2014 World Cup squad has been linked with Manchester United, thanks to the Louis van Gaal connection.

Stefan de Vrij is one of the players, as for weeks speculation has been rife that the Feyenoord defender could follow his Dutch coach to Old Trafford.

It is no secret that the Red Devils need to sign a top-class centre-back (or maybe two?), and the 22-year-old’s impressive displays in Brazil have made him a candidate.

De Vrij made more tackles that fellow Dutch defenders Ron Vlaar and Bruno Martins Indi at the World Cup and also completed more passes.

It is believed that Feyenoord will sell the youngster if they are offered a good sum of money, and given United’s financial powers and Van Gaal’s presence, they could sign him if they want to.

Or maybe not.

Italian club Lazio are also looking for centre-backs and in the past few days there have been strong reports from the peninsula claiming that they are closing in on De Vrij.

It has now been reported by La Repubblica that the Rome-based outfit have reached an agreement with the player, who is said to be willing to join the Serie A club.

However, Lazio and Feyenoord cannot agree on a transfer fee. While the Dutch giants want €10 million (£8m) for the World Cup star, the Aquile are prepared to pay between €7m (£5.5m) and €8m (£6.5m).

So is there still a chance for United to swoop in and sign De Vrij? The three-time European champions do have the money and Van Gaal would be able to convince the defender to move to Old Trafford.

Moreover, Feyenoord’s sporting director Martin van Geel has said that they are open to selling the youngster to the ‘right club’ and for a ‘good offer’ - if United's bid is higher than Lazio, then the Dutch outfit will sell them the star defender.

Of course, it all depends on whether Van Gaal and his United bosses actually want De Vrij...

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch