That’s according to a report by Italian media outlet CalcioMercatoWeb, who claim that, despite it looking likely that the Inter Milan centre-back will remain at the San Siro beyond the end of the summer transfer window, the 30-year-old is currently distancing himself from the signing of a new contract with the Serie A side – with his current deal set to expire next June.
The report goes on to state that Inter’s offer of a new contract would see the Netherlands international take a significant pay cut from his current €4.2m-per-year salary (£67k-per-week) to €3m-per-year (£48k-per-week), with it being said that the possibility of the defender leaving the Nerazzurri on a free next summer is not out of the question.
Finally, it is stated that, in the event that De Vrij does decide to leave the San Siro at the end of 2022/23, Antonio Conte could look to replicate the deal that saw Ivan Persic leave Inter for Tottenham on a free this summer with the 30-year-old in 12 months time.
Considering just how crucial De Vrij was for Conte throughout Inter’s Scudetto-winning campaign back in 2020/21, it is not difficult to see why the 52-year-old would be keen to bring the Dutchman to north London next summer – especially on a free.
Indeed, over his 32 Serie A appearances for Inter in the season before last, the £25.2m-rated centre-back was in remarkable form in Conte’s backline, helping the Nerazzurri keep 11 clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.3 interceptions, 0.9 tackles, 2.9 clearances, 57.4 passes and winning 3.3 duels – at a success rate of 60% – per game.
These returns saw the 58-cap international who Srijandeep Das dubbed a player “in the Vertonghen mould” average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.03, ranking him as Inter’s 10th-best performer in their title-winning campaign.
As such, should Conte indeed manage to replicate his Perisic swoop with the 30-year-old next summer, not only would the Italian have added an incredibly experienced defender to his current options at Tottenham, but he could also have unearthed the club’s next Jan Vertonghen – a prospect that is sure to delight Spurs supporters.