It’s been a while since Manchester United were linked with Stefan De Vrij, but usual suspects Il Messaggero have tried to get the ball rolling again on Friday.
While a few of the Italian papers have also mentioned an interest from José Mourinho in the Dutch centre-back, Il Messaggero have been the ones heavily pushing the link, to the extent where they claimed it was basically a done deal back in February.
They claimed the Red Devils had agreed a €35m ‘pre-agreement/first refusal’ deal with Lazio, but further stated €40m would do the trick just in case Chelsea came knocking once again after their interest towards the end of last season.
It appears that most outlets are in agreement that De Vrij will be leaving Lazio in the summer, and Il Messaggero on Friday say the Serie A club are ‘hoping for Manchester United’s €35m” in order to strengthen their squad for next season.
Now, we might be being pedantic here, but ‘hoping for’ a club to bid for your player is a far cry from the ‘done deal’ claims from February, suggesting Mourinho might have turned to other targets since then.
That Manchester United will strengthen their defence isn’t exactly a secret, with the likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones not exactly in their manager’s good books these days, while Daley Blind, as admirably as he has performed there on occasion, isn’t a natural centre-back.
That leaves just Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo as the two defenders who have Mourinho’s full trust, which isn’t enough for a big club like United.
We don’t doubt the interest is there, but whether De Vrij is the Special One’s Chosen One isn’t a guarantee.
Our bet is that he’s one of many being looked at, and until someone is signed, or he’s sold to another club, his name will continuously return in stories.