Stefan de Vrij
Stefan de Vrij Reuters

Manchester United have stepped up their interest in the Netherlands defender Stefan de Vrij and could land him for a fee in the region of £8m, according to the Daily Mail.

The Red Devils have made defensive reinforcements a priority this summer after losing two of their most experienced and influential defenders in Rio Ferdinand and Nemaja Vidic, both having left for pastures new after their contracts expired.

United have already unveiled two big money signings in Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera and are looking to make De Vrij their third acquisition this summer.

The 22-year-old defender, who plays his club football at Feyenoord, is currently on World Cup duty with Louis van Gaal's Netherlands team.

He has been an integral part of the squad starting every match and even scoring in the 5-1 thrashing of Spain. It is reported that the Dutchman would like to link up with his compatriot at club level too.

It is claimed that the Dutch defender who has been on the radar of many clubs, had secretly travelled to Rome to meet Lazio officials and tie up a deal.

However, after United made their interest known, it was always going to be difficult for Lazio to complete the deal. Now the Rome- based club are sure that De Vrij is on his way to Old Trafford.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager is also keeping tabs on various players in his Dutch team with a view to bringing them to United after his team's World Cup campaign. Daryl Janmaat the right-back and centre-back Bruno Martins Indi are the two names being linked to the Old Trafford club.

Meanwhile, Dutchman Wesley Sneijder who has had run-ins with Van Gaal in the past has spoken high praise of his manager.

The Galatasaray midfielder was almost left out of the squad due to his drop in fitness and form, but has picked himself up and proved to be one of the unsung heroes of the Netherlands team this World Cup.

"I've had my moment with the manager. But I have to say that in this World Cup he's getting it right all the time and so far there hasn't been anything to find fault with," Sneijder said.

"The tactical work is something different to what we've done before. His vision and tactics have given confidence to everyone in the squad. It's a joy to work with him and I have no reason to complain," the former Inter Milan player added.