PSV miss out on Stam
By Ben Warburton. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
PSV Eindhoven boss Guus Hiddink has revealed that he fought until the last minute to bring Milan defender Jaap Stam back to the club.
The former Manchester United defender will return to Holland in July after signing a two-year deal to join Ajax, who were willing to agree to an undisclosed fee for the commanding centre back with Milan.
Hiddink was also keen to sign Stam, capped 87 times by his country, but was less keen to pay such a figure for the ageing star.
"The value of Stam to the team is clear but you have to look at the economic value too," Hiddink told De Telegraaf.
"At a certain point we had to call it quits.
"Including his salary, the transfer would have cost around é¼6 million (£4 million) and that is a lot because at the end of it he would be worth nothing."
Stam has made no attempt to hide the fact that he wanted a return to his homeland in the summer, and, after eight seasons playing abroad for some of Europe's most prestigious clubs, the imposing defender will now be closer to family and friends.
The 33-year-old became famous around the world after moving to Manchester United from PSV for £10.75 million in 1998.
Stam was a member of the Treble-winning side at Old Trafford in 1999, but fell out of favour with boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
He was transferred to Italian side Lazio for £16.5 million as a result, and then made the switch to Milan in the summer of 2004 on a three-year deal.