The confusion around Stefan de Vrij’s contract at Lazio has taken another twist as reports from Italy suggest that the 25-year-old has signed a new contract with the Italian giants.
The Dutch defender’s old deal was running out in the summer and he was in extended talks to stay at the Italian capital and Italian outlet Il Messaggero (h/t Sport Witness) suggests that even after signing the new deal, the release clause for the defender is only €25million.
That will come as great news for a number of teams, including Liverpool, who have been chasing one of the best defenders in the Italian league since the summer. The release clause is nothing when compared to some of the prices that are being paid to sign players and most of the teams chasing the defender will be able to sign De Vrij without much of a fuss.
It isn’t just Liverpool who are chasing the Dutchman as the report claims that Juventus and Atletico Madrid are also looking to get the star man.
What is a given is that De Vrij is a similar player to Van Dijk and the best part is that he is way cheaper than the Southampton man. The current Lazio man might have signed a new deal but moving to another side should not be off the cards.
We have seen a number of players break their release clause to force a move away and we could do with some leadership at the back.
Van Dijk is not doing all that great for the Saints at the moment, while Lazio are doing pretty well in the Serie A and maybe a player from outside the league could be the answer for our porous defence and our lack of a leader at the back.
In an ideal world, both defenders joining us would solve our problems but we might only be getting one and it seems highly unlikely now that the 25-year-old would leave Italy to move to England.
We could have moved for him before he signed his new contract and even if he does move, it might be to Juventus, who are in need of central defenders at the moment.
De Vrij might be our loss but that should open the doors for Van Dijk to make the jump to Merseyside.