Joao Miranda
Joao MirandaReuters

Manchester United have suffered a blow in their pursuit of Atletico Madrid defender Joao Miranda.

Earlier in the summer, the centre-back who has been highly sought after by top European clubs that include Barcelona and Manchester United spoke about the offers he had received from various clubs. The Brazilian defender mentioned that he had a release clause in his contract, which is negotiable.

The Spanish capital club have rejected an offer of £25m for the Brazilian defender from the Red Devils, according to the Express.

Louis van Gaal had made defensive reinforcements a top priority in the summer transfer window to cover the departure of club heroes Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. In the absence of the two players last season due to injury, United's back line looked weak and vulnerable. They suffered more home defeats than any previous Premier League campaign.

Miranda was a constant feature of Diego Simone's team during the title winning campaign last season. The Brazilian who was the leader in their back-line helped them become the meanest defence in the league conceding just 26 goals last season.

The 29-year-old defender has shown his capacity to perform at the highest level after helping Atletico to four major honours since joining the club in 2011.

Meanwhile, Van Gaal has been speaking ahead of the Netherlands' final group game against Chile. Even though both the teams have qualified for the last 16, it is a crucial game, as it will decide who will top group B.

With Brazil favourites to top group A, the Chileans and the Dutch will be hoping to avoid a clash with the hosts this early in the tournament. The Dutch boss feels the home team always has an 'advantage' and thus wants to make sure they avoid them.

"Definitely, if I were allowed to choose, I'd rather not play against Brazil, although Croatia or Mexico aren't bad opponents either. But I think, at a World Cup, the host country always has an advantage," Van Gaal explained.