Manchester United are in desperate need of some defensive reinforcements ahead of the new season, and Dutchman Stefan de Vrij would be a fine addition to the Old Trafford back line.
Along with many other areas of their game, the Red Devils were poor on defence last season as they finished a lowly seventh in the Premier League. Also, the departures of both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand mean new blood is needed at centre-back.
The 22-year-old De Vrij performed admirably at the 2014 World Cup—the Netherlands finished third under new United boss Louis van Gaal—and could add some much-needed quality to the United squad.
Lazio have launched a bid to take De Vrij to Italy, but Sunday Mirror Sport understands he is reluctant to talk to them because he is desperate to join United.
Dutch football writer Elko Born corroborates the information given by Mullock and provides the amount of money that Feyenoord want for the player:
Feyenoord now practically offering De Vrij to United or any other big club. What do they want? At least €10 million.— Elko Born (@Elko_B) July 20, 2014
Meanwhile, the player himself admitted to RTV Rijnmond (h/t the Daily Star's Bruce Archer) before the World Cup that he would likely be on his way.
"The chances are that I will leave, I can probably confirm this," he said.
At €10 million (£8 million), the Dutch youngster is easily affordable for United—he has only one year left on his contract—and would indeed represent terrific value for a player who has the potential to be long-term star at Old Trafford.
Current options for United in central defence include the inconsistent likes of Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling, none of whom have significantly marked themselves out as quality replacements for Ferdinand and Vidic.
According to WhoScored.com, De Vrij proved in Brazil that he can perform at the very highest level despite being so young:
Most tackles + interceptions at the 2014 World Cup: De Vrij 51, Mascherano 48, Vlaar 38, Gustavo 36, Zabaleta / Rojo 35— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 15, 2014
He would likely slot straight into United's first team.
Indeed, WhoScored's Ben McAleer certainly believes that he would be a fine addition to Van Gaal's side:
He is a commanding presence at the back and is impressive in the air while also being confident with the ball at his feet.
This aptitude for playing the ball on the ground is a terrific asset for a modern-day centre-back, as it allows for attacks to be started from the defence.
If Van Gaal can snap him up soon, he would have a player on whom he could rely at the back. He already has a relationship with De Vrij after his time with the Dutch national team.
Having made the signings of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, Van Gaal needs to address the issues in the United defence. De Vrij would be a step in the right direction.
Without a solid defence, United will not return to their former glories in a hurry. If reports are to be believed, however, a new-look back line could be taking shape shortly.