Liverpool hand major boost in race for 26-year-old top-class Dutchman

Lazio have cleared the path for either Manchester United or Liverpool to sign Stefan de Vrij in the summer transfer window.

De Vrij has made 252 appearances for Lazio since joining the Serie A outfit back in 2014 but the 26-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to England in recent months.

Both United and Liverpool have been closely monitoring De Vrij’s contract situation and the Premier League giants have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of the defender.

De Vrij’s current deal expires at the end of 2017/18 campaign and Lazio have confirmed that the highly-rated centre-back will become a free agent. The Dutchman was in talks over a new deal at Lazio but the club’s sporting director, Igli Tare, revealed that these negotiations have ended.

‘It’s a decision made after many months,’ Tare said. ‘There’s a limit to everything. ‘We will say goodbye at the end of the season.’

It’s understood United made enquiries over signing De Vrij in January, while Liverpool reportedly had a £30million bid rejected for the Netherlands star last summer.