Tuesday 11 December 2018

Defender linked with a move to Liverpool will be available for free this summer

Stefan De Vrij of Lazio
Stefan De Vrij of Lazio
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool have been strongly linked with a move to sign Dutch centre-back Stefan de Vrij from Lazio in recent month and now it has been confirmed the he will be available on a free transfer this summer.

The £75m club record arrival of Virgil van Dijk may have diluted Liverpool’s desire to add further options to their central defensive line, but a deal that could see 26-year-old De Vrij link up with his Dutch national team colleague at Anfield may suit all parties.

The removal of a transfer fee from the deal was confirmed by Lazio sporting director Igli Tare, who has confirmed his club have given up on their hopes of hanging onto De Vrij when his contract expires this summer.

“Lazio have withdrawn the proposal we made for a new contract to De Vrij,” said Tare.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.

“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.”

“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.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp should have an enhanced transfer kitty next summer, with the bulk of the £142m fee received from the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona last month yet to be used.

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