The Hard Tackle looks at three potential Premier League destinations for Dutch defender Stefan de Vrij, who could leave Inter Milan this summer.
Stefan de Vrij has been a stalwart in Serie A for the better part of the last decade. After starting his professional football career at the club level at Feyenoord in 2009, the Dutch defender moved to Italy in 2014 by joining Lazio, where he was to enjoy a productive four-year stint.
During this period, the 30-year-old also grew in stature in the Dutch national side, becoming an important member of the Oranje. But since moving to Inter Milan in July 2018, de Vrij has taken his game to the next level, establishing himself as one of the best players in Serie A.
The player has played a key role in the Nerazzurri’s ascent in the Italian top-flight, with the journey culminating with their Serie A title triumph last season. And de Vrij has continued performing consistently in the ongoing campaign to drive Inter Milan’s title defence bid.
But it looks like de Vrij’s stint with Inter Milan could end soon, as according to Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Sempre Inter), he is weighing up the next big move of his career. And the report claims that de Vrij would prefer to join a Premier League club.
Enticed by a potential switch to the Premier League, the experienced defender is ready to put contract renewal talks with Inter Milan on hold. And with his contract expiring in a little over a year, the Serie A giants might have no option but to sell him in the summer transfer window. With that in mind, The Hard Tackle looks at three potential destinations for the 30-year-old centre-back.
The first club on our list is the most obvious destination, at least until Antonio Conte remains on the helm at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. And while the Italian tactician is not entirely happy at Tottenham at the moment, he will likely stay in north London for the foreseeable future.
Leadership is a quality that is sorely missing from the Tottenham Hotspur squad in various departments, especially in defence. That is where Stefan de Vrij comes into the picture, particularly after being one of the key leaders for Conte at Inter Milan from 2019 to 2021.
The 30-year-old was a vital cog in the Inter Milan backline that was the epitome of discipline under Conte leading up to the Serie A title triumph last season. And adding de Vrij could enable the Tottenham manager to bolster his squad’s defensive unit multifold.
Recent reports have even indicated that de Vrij might be open to joining Tottenham. Reuniting with Conte at a club that could qualify for the UEFA Champions League is indeed an enticing prospect. Spurs could be the favourites to prise de Vrij away from Inter Milan in the summer transfer window.
The next name on our list has been linked with practically every player facing an uncertain future at his current club for weeks on end. We are, of course, talking out Newcastle United, who will enter their first summer transfer window under their new regime.
The Magpies spent around €100 million in their January spree, bringing nearly half a dozen players to St James’ Park. That has had a definitive impact on their results, with Newcastle United currently the most in-form team in the Premier League.
With relegation looking like an unlikely prospect, Newcastle could soon start planning for a bigger summer transfer window to continue their squad overhaul. And the defensive unit will once again be a key area to bolster for the Tyneside outfit.
To that end, de Vrij could become Eddie Howe’s priority target, even though he reportedly snubbed Newcastle’s advances in the January transfer window. The Magpies’ project should be intriguing for any player, considering the sky is their limit. And de Vrij could be the missing link in defence to boost the back levels immediately.
The final club on our list has not been heavily linked with Stefan de Vrij lately. But with sweeping changes beckoning Manchester United ahead of the summer transfer window, signing someone like the Dutch international could be a step in the right direction.
According to widespread reports, Harry Maguire remains unconvincing, and the Manchester United captain’s inconsistent performances could force them to delve into the transfer market for a centre-back for the second successive summer. And de Vrij could be the ideal candidate to boost the leadership quotient in the defensive unit, especially if Maguire’s fate is sealed.
With Erik ten Hag heavily linked as Manchester United’s next manager, one could expect the Red Devils to pursue Dutch defenders. That brings de Vrij into the picture, with the 30-year-old the kind of player who could be a short-term solution to deliver instant success. Add to that the potential pay hike, and de Vrij might be enticed by the prospect of joining Manchester United.
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