If reports in the La Gazzetta dello Sport are to be believed, Lazio’s in-demand center-back Stefan de Vrij is set to leave the club this summer.
The Dutchman’s contract in the Italian capital expires at the end of the season, and the 24-year-old is reportedly not willing to pen a new deal with the club, thereby forcing Lazio to sell him this summer.
De Vrij entered the 2014 World Cup as a rather unknown face to many football fans. However, he performed admirably for the Netherlands, who finished third under Louis Van Gaal.
His stellar performances at the World Cup then saw him earn a move to Lazio in 2014, and owing to some commanding performance in his debut season, he helped the Italian club qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
However, the former Feyenoord man suffered a devastating knee injury that kept him out for the vast majority of the previous season, and he has been battling with few issues since making his return.
Despite his injury problems in the past, De Vrij is still considered as one of the highly rated centre-backs in Europe. He is a classy operator at the back, very quick to react to attacking threats, and relishes physical duels with high pace forwards.
Manchester United have been long-term admirers for the Dutch international, as they attempted to lure him to Old Trafford many times in the previous transfer windows.
De Vrij could be a very good signing for the Red Devils, as Jose Mourinho looks to bring central defensive reinforcements in the summer in order to add strength and depth at the back.
But United will face strong competition from the likes of Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, Inter, and Valencia, who are also in the race to sign him, and according to reports in La Republica, Lazio will be open to selling the player for £25m.
Written by Pragadeesh Shanmugam