Liverpool have been handed a massive transfer boost with the news Stefan De Vrij is expected to leave Lazio in the summer. The Dutch central defender has established himself as one of the best in the business and is attracting interest from some of Europe’s top clubs.
De Vrij, who is valued at around £30million, has yet to sign fresh terms with the Serie A side. Lazio had hoped to tie him to a new contract but with negotiations not going as well as expected, President Claudio Lotito insists the defender could leave the club if he wants to leave.
“We have always said that people come and go but Lazio remains,” Lotito told Italian broadcaster Radio Incontro Olympia (h/t The Express).
“I hope this does not apply to presidents!
“It depends on the ethics and behaviour of the player. As a club we have always behaved very well towards the players and we’ll see what the players choose. We are used to enforcing our rights whilst always respecting the rules.”
As per reports, Liverpool have been named as one of the sides in pursuit of the Holland international, along with Barcelona, Juventus and Inter Milan. It is believed Lazio have now issued the defender with an ultimatum and has been told that he needs to make his mind up by Christmas Day.
If the centre-back doesn’t commit his future to the club Lazio by then, they’d sell him in the January transfer window instead of losing him for free in the summer. And after the Lazio president’s comments, Jurgen Klopp will now have high hopes of securing a deal for the 25-year-old.
Liverpool’s defending has been a big problem this season and Klopp will be in the January transfer market eyeing a central defender. Klopp will no doubt be watching the coming days with interest as they are tracking De Vrij closely.
De Vrij is one of a number of talented Dutch central defenders. Virgil van Dijk, another Dutch defender, was Liverpool’s No 1 target in the summer. Van Dijk failed to get his move to Liverpool in the previous transfer window but could leave Southampton when the transfer market reopens in January.
If both the Dutch internationals are considered, my opinion would be to go for De Vrij instead of Van Dijk, although the latter is Premier League proven.
It would be an uphill task to negotiate with Southampton after what happened in the summer. So De Vrij should be a safe bet with the Dutchman featuring 21 times for club and country this season, scoring 3 goals.