Liverpool received a boost in their ambitions to sign Stefan de Vrij, as it is being reported that the Dutch defender is stalling over a new contract with Serie A side Lazio. (Calciomercato h/t talkSPORT)
The defender’s current deal with the club expires at the end of this season and the Reds are looking at this situation very closely. Lazio are aware of the situation and do not want to let their star defender leave for free next season.
That explains their eagerness in getting a new contract signed by the player. Lazio are reportedly locked in talks with the 25-year-old but according to reports in Italy, there is no headway.
The reason for the talks getting stalled is the unhappiness from the player’s camp over the inclusion of a higher release clause. Lazio are aware that Premier League clubs will come back for his signature and they want to stave them off by putting a higher clause.
The report claims that Lazio are looking to include a release clause of £26.5million in his contract, but the Dutch player is not willing to let it be greater than £22million. More talks are expected between the player and the club over the weekend but the reported deadlock is going to boost Liverpool’s chances of signing De Vrij next summer.
The Reds have been looking for a defensive rock all through the summer, although it was De Vrij’s compatriot Virgil van Dijk who was the target. Jurgen Klopp couldn’t get his main man because of Southampton’s reluctance but is hopeful of signing him next year.
However, Klopp is ready to dip into the transfer market in January to add a new defender to his roster and arrest the frailties at the back. Van Dijk might once again be an option, although next summer could be a more opportune time to get back for his signature.
As such, it looks more likely that De Vrij would be chased by the club in the winter window – especially if he rejects the new deal. Lazio are eager to let the situation not move out of control but if he rejects the deal, they would be looking to cash in on the player in January.