Manchester United have been given a boost in their pursuit of a defender, with SS Lazio centre-back Stefan de Vrij leaving the club in the summer, reports Mediaset Premium.
“Lazio have withdrawn the proposal we made for a new contract to De Vrij,” said Director of Sport Igli Tare. “We are withdrawing for reasons that we will explain later on. It was a choice made after many months of negotiations, but there is also a limit to how things went.”
The 26-year-old joined Lazio from Feyenoord in 2014, signing a four-year deal, and is out of contract at the end of the season. He’s made 100 appearances in all competitions and was given a glowing tribute by the Italian side upon the news of his impending exit.
“He has been an exemplary professional and we thank him for that as well as what he’ll do until the end of the season. He gave a lot to the club, just as we gave a great deal to him, but our paths will divide in June,” Tare added.
“It’s a matter of fairness. This is not the opportune time to give the reasons for this decision, but we had to give a response and we gave it this evening. It is better to look forward, as Lazio are a side who have grown in recent years and will continue to grow, because we certainly do not lack players.”
Lazio were hoping to tie him down to a contract extension but they’ve failed to agree a new deal with de Vrij and are resigned to losing him in the coming months. He’s remained a regular in the defence, making 24 Serie A appearances this season, and is reportedly a target for Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.
De Vrij, who has made 33 caps for the Netherlands national team, has helped Lazio to fourth in the Serie A table, one point ahead of fifth-placed Inter Milan. The talented defender will be a bargain buy for his new club, and United will be hoping it’s them.
Manager Jose Mourinho has been after a new centre-back, despite having Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly, so de Vrij could be the answer.