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JAAP STAM has confirmed that he will talk with Roman club Lazio after Manchester United agreed a fee with the Serie A side for the towering Dutch defender.

The Red Devils stated on Saturday that they had received an offer from Lazio, but Stam has revealed that the deal has gone a step closer with United accepting the reported £18 million bid.

Speaking on Sunday, Stam said: "This has come out of the blue but it is true.

"I have never wanted to leave, but United have agreed a fee and both want to discuss the move.

"I have no choice but to consider my options and we will see what happens."

Ahead of Sunday`s game with Aston Villa, manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed a fee had been agreed and hinted that he would seek an immediate replacement, although declaring that the defence at Old Trafford was more than adequate.

"I can only say we have accepted a bid from Lazio, and the rest is now up to Jaap," said the Scot.

When asked if he would seek a replacement, he added: "It is a possibility that we could bring someone in, but I am happy with what we have got. 

"Wes Brown is a fantastic defender, in my opinion he is the best young defender in the country and just needs a chance to prove it.  He will now get that."

The news is sure to shock the legions of Old Trafford fans, but it would seem that the Dutchman has had a major disagreement with Ferguson.

The Scot surprisingly axed the 29-year-old for Wednesday evening`s 2-2 draw at Blackburn, although he was short of his best on the opening day of the season against Fulham.

Ferguson recently claimed that there was no clash, saying: "There is no problem with Jaap. Sometimes you need a break, it is no problem. He will come back in at some point."

Stam, though, spoke of his frustration at being dropped for the first time in his Old Trafford career, and it would seem that he may be forced to leave after United accepted a bid from the Serie A side.

The loss of Stam would leave a huge void in the Old Trafford back-line, as he was rightly regarded as the defensive rock that the team was built around.

Ferguson failed with a bid for French international centre back Lilian Thuram over the summer, but one would presume that he must have another option if he is willing to sell Stam, despite their apparent bust-up.

United looked particularly frail against both Fulham and Blackburn, and they are sure to be tested further in the weeks and months ahead domestically and in the Champions League.

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