Lazio have warned suitors targeting Antonio Candreva that under no circumstances will the midfielder be sold this summer, amid reported interest from Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund.
The 26-year-old midfielder enjoyed an impressive campaign for the Serie A outfit last season, culminating in Coppa Italia success with his club and a place in the Italy squad for the Confederations Cup campaign in Brazil. Candreva's rapid progression has garnered the attention of a number of clubs across the continent, including the Premier League champions, reports suggest.
Ambitious Napoli have also been credited with keen interest as Rafa Benitez continues to build a side in his own image, but the Serie A club, along with United and the Champions League finalists Dortmund, have been told under no uncertain terms that they will have to look elsewhere this summer.
"He is not for sale," Lazio president Claudio Lotito told a press conference, Sky Sports reports. "Napoli? They have never called me, but if they do, I'd say he is not for sale.
"Lazio are the only club who have bought players without selling. We wanted to strengthen the team again. I can also say that we have achieved all the market targets we had."
Reports in the Italian and French media have suggested David Moyes and United scouts have been impressed by the midfielder and have identified him as a possible transfer target should the club fail on other fronts.
United have already missed out on reported target Thiago Alcantara, who opted for a reunion with former manager Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich after failing to be convinced to stay at Barcelona.
The champions remain in the chase for former Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas, with Moyes confirming that the club have made a second bid for the Spanish international after seeing their opening offer of £26m rejected.
United's decision to keep their pursuit of the midfielder in the public domain suggests the club are confident of securing a deal that would see Fabregas make a sensational move to Old Trafford. But the 26-year-old's commitment to the Catalan giants suggests a deal is some way off being completed, possibly leaving United to consider other midfield targets ahead of the new campaign.
It would however appear that Candreva, who made over 50 appearances for Lazio last season chipping in with seven goals in the process, could be another unattainable target for United this summer.