According to reports in Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, via The Metro, Manchester United have joined Premier League rivals Chelsea in the race to sign Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij during the summer.
Well, Il Messaggero, via The Metro, reports that the 26-year-old is keen to leave the Serie A giants in search of a new challenge when his contract expires in the summer.
However, Il Messaggero, via The Metro, reports that the player feels guilty about leaving the club where he has really made his name in European football for nothing, and he is close to penning a new deal which will include a low release clause of £20m to allow him to move on for a fee at the end of the current campaign.
The report adds that Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho is keen on the Netherlands international as he looks to add a full-back, centre-back and a midfielder to his squad during the summer transfer window, with the club ready to give him £150m to spend.
The 26-year-old has impressed for Lazio ever since he joined them from Feyenoord in 2014, but he is probably enjoying his best campaign yet just now.
The Dutchman has been a key player at the back for the Italian side as they currently lie third in the Serie A standings, and he has scored three goals to help his team at the other end too in 22 league appearances.
One of the centre-back’s main strengths is his ability on the ball, and according to WhoScored.com he has a passing accuracy of 92.2% across 24 outings in Serie A and the Europa League during the current campaign.
He certainly would be.
While the Red Devils have plenty of options at the heart of the defence with the likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly, none of them have really stood out as an outstanding player at the back, and it would be no surprise to see Mourinho add a new centre-back in the summer.
Given how comfortable he is in possession, his age and the fact that he could be available for just £20m, it would be a no-brainer for United to move for the 26-year-old, who is likely to be in demand from a number of their Premier League rivals too.
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