Manchester United were snubbed in a late bid to sign Kenneth Vermeer, as the Netherlands international decided to choose Feyenoord over the Premier League giants.
According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, the Ajax goalkeeper was only hours from completing his move to Feyenoord when Old Trafford officials got in touch and made him an offer.
Vermeer had fallen down the pecking order at the Amsterdam club after the rise of Jasper Cillessen, who also emerged as Louis van Gaal’s number one for Holland at the World Cup.
However, Manchester United’s new manager obviously trusts Vermeer and the deal offered to him would have meant a larger salary than what was on offer at Feyenoord, with the Red Devils willing to send current back-up ‘keeper Anders Lindegaard to the Rotterdam club to help ease the transfer.
Spaniard is No.1
David de Gea is the undisputed first choice goalkeeper at Old Trafford and the arrival of Vermeer would not have changed this, which became the crux of the matter for the 28-year-old.
Vermeer, says the report, decided to turn down the move to the Premier League in order to become number one at Feyenoord. Playing regularly was more important to him than earning a more substantial wage packet, something that does not happen too often in football.
The move was a puzzling one from Van Gaal, as De Gea’s presence makes goalkeeper probably the only position in the squad where there are no doubts about whether it needs to be improved.
Of course, a serious injury to the young Spaniard would be a problem for United, but Lindegaard has shown in the past that he is a more than competent stand in when called upon.
It could be that, having worked with Van Gaal in previous Netherlands squads, the former Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Ajax boss felt he could place more trust in Vermeer, but it appears as though he has had enough of playing understudy to other ‘keepers.
The move may not best please Ajax fans, as the Holland capital’s club have a big rivalry with Feyenoord. The next time Vermeer turns up at the Amsterdam Arena the reception is unlikely to be too kind.
Meanwhile, Manchester United experience another disappointment in a transfer window that has been very mixed. Reports emerged on transfer deadline day that a loan deal was agreed to sign Radamel Falcao from AS Monaco for the season.
It is a big signing for the Old Trafford club and comes in the wake of the British record purchase of Angel di Maria from Real Madrid in a £59.7million deal. However, neither of these two blockbuster signings address the serious deficiencies that United have shown in defensive midfield and defence.