Stefan de Vrij has decided to sign a new deal, but Liverpool have reportedly not given up on signing the defender. Liverpool were thought to be pursuing De Vrij in the summer as an alternative to Virgil van Dijk. But, the Reds reportedly had a bid turned down as Lazio held out for £30million.
Italian outlet Il Messaggero now claim that after stonewalling the club for several months, De Vrij has signed a new deal. The new contract gives De Vrij a significant wage increase and Lazio are preparing to announce the agreement in the coming days.
However, Liverpool will not be put off with De Vrij’s new release clause set at £27m, three million pounds less than what Lazio were asking for in the summer.
Liverpool have desperate to sign a new centre-back with the Reds defence coming in for severe criticism this season. Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan have failed to inspire confidence and there has been repeated calls for Liverpool to address the issue by signing another defender.
Van Dijk was Liverpool’s top target, but Southampton flat out refused to sell the Netherlands international to the Reds in the summer.
De Vrij is Van Dijk’s international team-mate and could be an excellent – and cheaper – alternative for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Liverpool could well move for a new centre-back in January with reports Van Dijk is still a major target.