Stam confirms £18m bid from Lazio


Manchester United have agreed a fee with Lazio for Jaap Stam, according to the £18 million-rated Dutch defender himself.

And a United spokesman confirmed that the club had received an offer from the Serie A club.

"This has come out of the blue, but it's true," said Stam. "United have accepted an offer from the Italian club this weekend.

"I have never wanted to leave but United have agreed a fee with Lazio and it seems both sides are eager to discuss a transfer.

"I have no choice but to consider my options. Lazio are now free to talk to me and we will see what happens over the next few days," he told The News Of The World.

Two weeks ago Stam's controversial autobiography was published. In it he accuses manager Sir Alex Ferguson of tapping him up and attacks several of his Old Trafford team-mates.

United spokesman Patrick Harverson revealed: "I can confirm we have had an offer from Lazio."

The Italians are believed to have made their move at Thursday's Champions League draw in Monaco when officials from the Serie A side's camp approached United chief executive Peter Kenyon.

Stam's agent Mike Williams said: "This has come as a surprise. But if Manchester United are willing to listen to offers I'm sure there will be plenty of other teams interested in the services of a world-class defender."

France World Cup winner Laurent Blanc of Inter Milan is favourite to replace Stam at Old Trafford.

Stam, who arrived at United in 1998 from PSV Eindhoven in a £10.75million deal, was dropped for the midweek draw with Blackburn amid claims Ferguson had axed him over comments made in his book. He has also been omitted from the squad for the trip to Aston Villa.