Chelsea to battle Barcelona for 26-year-old out-of-contract defender as race intensifies

Stefan de Vrij

Chelsea could move for defender Stefan De Vrij in the summer as the Dutchman has reportedly decided not to renew his contract with Lazio. According to Sky Sports, the centre-half would be available as a free agent this summer.

A number of sides have been rumoured to be interested in the 26-year-old due to his impressive performances for the Serie A side. The opportunity to leave Lazio and join a club which can offer him better trophy prospects, as well as higher wages, could be something that would be highly appealing to De Vrij.

Now, according to The Sun, Chelsea and Barcelona could go head to head for the signature of the talented central defender. De Vrij joined Lazio from Feyenoord following the 2014 world cup where he helped the Netherlands reach the semi-finals.

Lazio sporting director earlier confirmed De Vrij’s contract situation by saying:

“We have withdrawn the proposal we made for a new contract to De Vrij. 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.”

He 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.”

We have clearly been below par this season as we are struggling to secure a top-4 finish and it is very likely that we will undergo a managerial change as well as some major squad changes during the summer.

De Vrij could be a good addition to our side. He has proven that he can churn out quality performances and in addition to this, he is also about to reach the peak of his career.

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