Everton could form a formidable defensive partnership after being linked with a move for Inter centre-back Stefan de Vrij ahead of the upcoming January transfer window.
According to 90min, the Toffees are one of several Premier clubs keen to secure the 29-year-old’s services, with Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur also listed as potential suitors.
It’s claimed that De Vrij has been offered to the Magpies after they joined football’s financial elite following their recent takeover, but Everton and Spurs still retain an interest.
With the Dutch international having just 18 months left to run on his current contract – and Inter needing to lower their wage bill – the £45m-rated colossus could be available for a bargain fee this winter.
Since his arrival at San Siro back in 2018, De Vrij has established himself as one of Europe’s most dominant centre-halves, making 139 appearances for the Nerazzurri in all competitions.
And the highlight of his career came last season when the 6 foot 2 beast played a pivotal part in Inter’s first Serie A title success in 11 years, ending Juventus’ run of nine consecutive victories.
Amongst De Vrij’s list of admirers is former Lazio teammate Mauricio, who lauded his quality to ESPN (via Football Italia), saying: “Stefan is a great defender and deserves to be at a big club. He’s very tall, he’s strong and fast, he runs a lot – he’s a monster! He’s a calm defender who never gets agitated.”
Recent reports have claimed that Benitez could have up to £35m to spend in the January window after splashing out just £1.6m on Demarai Gray over the summer, and De Vrij could be the ideal candidate to bring in using that money.
Everton have kept just three clean sheets all campaign, conceding three or more goals on three occasions, including a 5-2 thrashing at the hands of newly-promoted Watford.
Therefore, defensive reinforcements may well be prioritised by the Merseyside outfit, and De Vrij would make for the perfect partner for the highly-rated Ben Godfrey.
The 23-year-old is still very much learning his craft at Goodison Park, but his versatility, mobility and tackling ability highlight a promising future, while De Vrij’s experience, passing range and concentration would superbly compliment the youngster.
As a result, their partnership would have the potential to transform Everton’s fortunes this season, and Marcel Brands should carefully consider sanctioning a move for a player that the club’s supporters would surely love based on his wonderful list of expertise.