Chelsea have reportedly turned their attention towards Inter Milan defender Stefan de Vrij after facing rejection in their pursuit of Matthijs de Ligt.
According to a report from TuttoMercatoWeb, Chelsea have identified Inter Milan’s Dutch centre-back Stefan de Vrij as an alternative option for compatriot Matthijs de Ligt in the ongoing transfer window.
It is no secret that the Blues have been in the market to bolster their defensive ranks this summer, and understandably so, given as Thiago Silva is fast approaching the twilight of his career while captain Cesar Azpilicueta is no spring chicken either. In addition, both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are in the final year of their contracts.
Furthermore, Kurt Zouma has also been heavily linked with an exit from Stamford Bridge after having dropped down the pecking order under Thomas Tuchel. Given that the Blues have already allowed Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi to leave as well, it becomes imperative that a new centre-back is brought in before the transfer window slams shut.
A move for Sevilla’s French star Jules Kounde is believed to be in the works, with reports claiming that personal terms have already been agreed with the 22-year-old. However, his €80 million release clause is proving to be problematic, with Sevilla unwilling to accept any player-plus-cash proposals.
So, it seems like Chelsea are keeping their options open, having identified Matthijs de Ligt as one of the alternatives. In fact, the Blues were already preparing an offer for the Juventus centre-half. However, as per the aforementioned report, the Bianconeri have rebuffed their approaches, leading to the west London outfit now eyeing de Ligt’s compatriot, Stefan de Vrij.
A product of the Feyenoord youth setup, de Vrij has been in Serie A for seven years, having joined Lazio in 2014. After four years at the Italian capital club, the 29-year-old moved to Inter Milan in 2018 and has grown into one of the best in the division during his time with the Nerazzurri.
An ever-present in the backline, de Vrij played a crucial part in Inter Milan’s Scudetto triumph last season. However, having entered the final year of his contract, the Netherlands international could be up for grabs, especially considering his club’s dire financial situation. Chelsea, who are already plotting to snare away Romelu Lukaku from Inter, are now ready to swoop for de Vrij as well, the report adds.
De Vrij, considering his experience and familiarity with the three-man defensive system that Tuchel employs, would be the ideal replacement for Silva at Chelsea. Whether this interest leads into a formal approach remains to be seen, however.