Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool were dealt a huge blow after their star player Philippe Coutinho reportedly handed in a transfer request. The Reds are still adamant that they want to keep him but they have some other things to worry about in their squad.
They have one of the weakest defences among the top-6 clubs in the league, which was proven once again against Watford, and are still unable to land their top transfer target in Virgil van Dijk this summer. They have very few alternatives in mind but one player they have already looked at is Lazio star Stefan de Vrij.
Juventus in for De Vrij
A transfer target for the Reds even in the previous summer window, De Vrij is one of the most dependable defenders in Europe at the moment but his injury history is what is keeping him at bay. However, he is not into the final year of his contract with the Italian outfit and is priced at around £30m this summer.
Liverpool were rejected in their approach for him earlier this summer but reports in Italy claim that Serie A champions Juventus are now ready to strike a deal with him, for a move next summer. The report states that Bianconeri are offering a five-year deal, worth €2.5m per season plus bonuses.
The player is yet to agree on a deal, so should Liverpool hijack this deal and move on from the Southampton man?
What does De Vrij offer?
The 25-year old Dutch international is a product of the Feyenoord academy in Netherlands and only moved to Italy back in 2014. Ever since he has established himself as the first choice but has not been able to keep himself fit for an entire season.
Known for his tall frame and understanding of the game, De Vrij is a smart defender who loves to dominate his box. He is strong in the air and pinpoint with his tackles while his distribution from the back is also commendable.
He has a total of 194 top flight appearances in Europe and 31 senior appearances for his national side and at his age, is already an established star at the highest level.
Move on from VVD?
But the biggest question for Liverpool is whether they should stop their pursuit of the Southampton man, who has also handed in a transfer request. Van Dijk is desperate for a move to Anfield and though Chelsea and Manchester City are linked with a move for him, it is Liverpool who have the upper hand.
The saga earlier in the summer is tying Liverpool’s hands down but they will surely come up with a bid in the upcoming days, now that time in the transfer market is running out. Southampton is still determined to hold on to their player but all Liverpool need is to meet his valuation, once Southampton allows them to make a move.
De Vrij is a decent backup option but Liverpool needs to get deals done for their top transfer targets and should not settle for backups in a season where they are expected to compete at the highest level.