Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal has been left fuming after Dutch international Stefan de Vrij opted to join Lazio instead.
According to the Daily Express, United had expected De Vrij to agree to join Van Gaal at Old Trafford this summer, with a £7m transfer all but agreed between United and Feyenoord.
But the Dutchman has opted to join Lazio in Serie A instead, scuppering Van Gaal's transfer plans.
The 22-year-old defender played as part of a back three for Van Gaal at the World Cup, but he's equally comfortable at right-back. United need cover across the back line, with Rafael the only senior specialist right-back.
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones can play the position, but with Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand departed, the young England internationals will be required in the middle of defence.
That means United have a spot open for a versatile defender like De Vrij. But Lazio sporting director Igli Tare has claimed that a transfer to the Italian club is all but finalised.
"Many things have been said and written about De Vrij and his transfer to United but this is not true," said Tare.
And he went on to claim that the Netherlands international never had any intention of playing for Van Gaal at United.
"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."
De Vrij is not the only Dutch international linked with United, as the Van Gaal connection has led to a flurry of reports claiming that the Old Trafford club will launch bids for the World Cup semi-finalists.
So far, United have completed deals for midfielder Ander Herrera and defender Luke Shaw, but they've been mentioned as suitors for Wesley Sneijder, Danny Blind, Jordy Clasie and injured midfielder Kevin Strootman among others.
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