Liverpool will reportedly battle Serie A champions Juventus to sign £25 million-rated out-bound Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij
According to a report by Corriere Dello Sport, Juventus are ready to fight Liverpool for Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij, who will be out of contract next summer and has so far refused to sign a new deal with the Italian club.
It is believed that Jurgen Klopp was a front-runner in signing the Dutch centre-back, but now Juventus appear to be in the fray to sign De Vrij.
De Vrij impressed for Lazio last season as they finished fifth in the table. The Dutchman has 30 caps for his country and was also a part of the 2014 World Cup squad in Brazil. Since moving to Lazio in the summer of 2014, the defender has completed only 71 appearances, with injuries limiting his playing time during his second year at the Rome club.
Having said that, there is no questioning the player’s defensive solidity as his 6 ft 3 inch figure can prove to be a real dangerous presence at the back to restrict opposition attackers.
Liverpool have been adept at scoring goals and attacking the opposition but they have also been pretty careless with regard to allowing the opposition to score. In fact, if they are able to curb that, they can launch a more serious title challenge next season and De Vrij can be a good candidate to make their defence stronger.
The Merseyside club have been linked with signing Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, but if that move does not go through, de Vrij can be a worthy replacement since he does have better experience when compared to the Saints man.
As far as Juventus are concerned, they will need somebody to fill the void left behind by Leonardo Bonucci and Dani Alves after they joined AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain respectively. While the move came as a major shock to the fans, Massimiliano Allegri will have quite a task on his hands as he looks to re-build the Juventus defence.
Last season, the Italian champions received a lot of praise for their tight back line and De Vrij can be a good alternative. He is also likely to be a more comfortable fit at Juventus given his vastly superior ability on the ball and his fine range of passing.
It remains to be seen whether Juventus are able to triumph over Liverpool as they tussle for his signature but whichever club signs him, will surely benefit from the Dutch defender’s capabilities.