Manchester United and Liverpool have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Stefan de Vrij after Lazio launched a £7 million bid to sign the Feyenoord centre-back.
TalkSPORT reports how the 22-year-old defender has been the subject of widespread transfer attention in recent weeks following an impressive showing at the World Cup with Holland this summer.
New Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal is a known admirer of his fellow Dutchman having picked the player as part of his first-choice central defensive pairing alongside Ron Vlaar at the major tournament in Brazil.
Van Gaal has been credited with an interest in bringing De Vrij to Old Trafford as he looks to strengthen his options at the back heading into the new season.
The departures of veteran duo Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand has left Manchester United particularly short in that department, and reinforcements will be a high priority before the transfer window closes.
Brendan Rodgers is another Premier League manager desperately searching for defensive cover, and has also been linked with a bid to bring De Vrij to Anfield this summer.
Liverpool are thought to be closing in on the acquisition of Croatian centre-back Dejan Lovren from Southampton. The impending £20 million capture would represent the third player to swap St Mary's for Merseyside, following in the footsteps of Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana.
However, both Manchester United and Liverpool's hopes of luring De Vrij to England are now hanging in the balance after Lazio firmed up their interest with a formal offer to Feyenoord for the player, according to Italian newspaper Il Messaggero.
Head coach Stefano Pioli had previously set his sights on bringing David Astori to Stadio Olimpico, but after the Italy international opting for a move to rivals AS Roma instead, the Serie 'A' giants have now turned their attention to De Vrij.
The Netherlands international has less than 12 months remaining on his current contract with last season's Eredivisie runners-up, and so could leave De Kuip in a cut-price deal.
Southampton have also been mentioned as possible admirers of the player, following the appointment of former Feyenoord boss Ronald Koeman, who succeeded Mauricio Pochettino on the south coast earlier this summer.
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