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Club director suggests Manchester United must overpay to sign Dutch starlet

Technical director Martin van Geel says Feyenoord aren’t interested in selling their players - a group that includes reported United target Stefan De Vrij.

Talented centre-backs are a coveted breed, and it’s no surprise to see sides around Europe clambering for Stefan De Vrij’s signature given his skill at just 22-years-old.

The Dutchman has extensive experience belying his youth, having been a regular in the Feyenoord starting eleven since the 2010/11 campaign with 135 Eredivisie appearances to his name.

And he’s performed with aplomb for the Rotterdam outfit to become one of the continent’s most highly-rated prospects in his position, attracting the attention of some illustrious clubs.

De Vrij’s list of suitors reportedly includes Manchester United, who after waving goodbye to former mainstays Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have rebuilding work to do at the back.

The Netherlands international’s existing relationship with Louis van Gaal also makes him a logical signing for United, whilst he admitted earlier this week he could leave De Kuip this summer.

But while De Vrij seems amenable to a transfer, Feyenoord do not. On Tuesday technical director Martin van Geel declared that the club have no intentions of selling their stars - even those interested in a high-profile move abroad.

“We don’t have to sell any of our players,” van Geel said to Feyenoord’s official website. “We understand that some of our players maybe want to make a step to a foreign side this summer, but at this stage we have a clear view.”

The remarks suggest that United would be in for quite a fight to pry De Vrij loose from the side he joined as a 10-year-old in 2002.

Van Geel also revealed that an offer from Italy for an unnamed player - De Vrij has been heavily linked with Serie A’s Lazio - has been rejected and reiterated his club’s bullish stance.

“An Italian club has made an offer, which we considered inappropriate,” he continued.

“After that, despite the rumors, there has been no further contact. We don’t want to sell.”

Whether or not the failed bid was for De Vrij, the comments shed light on the uphill task before United if they genuinely harbour ambitions of bringing him to Old Trafford.

Any potential deal may come down to how highly Louis van Gaal rates his 22-year-old international charge, as offering an irresistible premium may be the only way to convince Feyenoord to part ways with De Vrij.

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