Dutch defender Jaap Stam has dismissed reports linking him with a return to England, claiming he is happy to stay at Lazio.

The former Manchester United player had been linked with a move to rivals Manchester City as the cash-strapped Serie A club look for ways to reduce their chronic debts.

But Stam told Lazio’s official website that talk of a move to England is without foundation.

‘I’ve read what the English Press have been writing about me and I want to make it clear that I know nothing about the reports,’ he said.

‘They are claiming that I want to leave because of the delay in getting my wages here, but my agents have spoken with Lazio and things will soon be resolved.

‘I’m happy here and I want to once more underline the fact that I have never asked to leave because I am delighted with how I am doing in Italian football.’

‘Being asked whether I would sign for Manchester City is not something you forget and I know I have not spoken to anyone about this,’ Stam said.

‘I know the truth does not always get in the way of a good story but this is going too far.’

The 30-year-old defender moved to to Rome in a £16 million deal at the start of last season, but Lazio still owe Manchester United œ12million on that deal and it is understood the club may have to sell Stam during the January transfer window to avert the threat of United initiating legal action.