There has been plenty of interest in Stefan de Vrij for a couple of seasons now, and transfer chatter regarding the player is heating up after Lazio’s strong start to the season. His countryman Virgil van Dijk is also expected to command a lot of attention in the upcoming January transfer window, but for now let’s talk about de Vrij.
The 25-year-old has been with Lazio since the beginning of the 2014-15 season and his current deal expires at the end of this season. There has been ongoing talks with the Biancocelesti, but nothing has come of it yet - rumour has it that he could sign a new deal with a £27m release clause, which is about one-third of what it was claimed Southampton are asking for van Dijk.
Lazio will be keen to sell off the player in January should they fail to convince him to extend his stay in the capital, a situation Everton are all too familiar with after Ross Barkley refused to sign a new deal with the Blues.
de Vrij has excelled playing in the centre of Simone Inzaghi’s three-man backline, and though he is right-footed, he is equally at ease playing either of the two centrehalf positions in a classic four-man defence as well. The Dutchman has also scored three goals in eighteen games in all competitions along with 33 international caps where he has an additional three goals.
Italian rag Corriere dello Sport (via SportWitness) claim that Everton are following the contract talks very keenly with an eye to adding the player during the January window while the other clubs fight it out over van Dijk.
A quick glance at the search results associated with the centreback’s name reveals a European who’s who in terms of the clubs chasing the player - Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and lots more.
The lanky Dutchman will be a definite upgrade to the ranks at Finch Farm, making him the top defender for the Blues immediately, and with Michael Keane and Mason Holgate the core of a defensive group for the next few years.