According to reports in the Liverpool Echo, Everton have been handed a possible boost ahead of the summer transfer window after it was confirmed that the previously-linked Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij will be leaving the Serie A giants on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Well, Lazio’s sporting director Igli Tare told Mediaset Premium on Monday that the two parties will go their separate ways in June when the player’s contract expires after failing to come to an agreement over a new deal.
The Liverpool Echo says that Toffees director of football Steve Walsh is a long-term admirer of the Netherlands international and the Merseyside outfit held an interest in the 26-year-old both during the January transfer window and last summer as they looked to bring a centre-half to the club.
Everton could face competition from a number of Europe’s top clubs for the signature of de Vrij though, especially considering he will be available for nothing.
He has been excellent.
Lazio currently lie fourth in Serie A – one point behid arch-rivals AS Roma – and the Dutchman has been a big part of the side that is doing so well in the Italian top flight.
The 26-year-old has made 24 league appearances this term, scoring four goals, while according to WhoScored.com he has an overall passing accuracy of 92.3% in 26 outings in Serie A and the Europa League during the current campaign.
The Netherlands international has also won 35 of the 50 aerial duels he has contested, while he has made 24 tackles, 53 interceptions and 117 clearances, and successfully completed six of the seven dribbles he has attempted.
He certainly would be.
The Toffees are crying out for quality additions to their backline in the summer following some of their defensive showings this season, and de Vrij would be an unbelievable signing.
The fact that the player, who is a great defender, a great age, comfortable on the ball and has plenty of experience, will be available for nothing will be hugely exciting for Walsh and the club.
It will be really difficult, and it seems unlikely to happen.
Because of his qualities and the fact he is available for nothing, a number of Europe’s top clubs will likely be after the 26-year-old, and he will certainly take some convincing to join a club that may not even be playing European football next season.