Injuring himself while passing a ball on Wednesday night, Phil Jones’ proneness to injury has always been a worry at Manchester United, and with Chris Smalling being relegated to the bench more often than not, it seems José Mourinho still isn’t 100% happy with the centre-backs at his disposal.
With Eric Bailly returning from the Africa Cup of Nations, things could be a bit better, but the media in Italy are somewhat convinced the Portuguese manager will bolster his defence in the summer, with Lazio’s Stefan De Vrij the prime target.
Corriere dello Sport on Thursday look at the Dutchman’s future, and having now overcome his serious injury from last season and returning to his best, De Vrij is thinking about the future.
Refusing to prolong his contract with Lazio, the Netherlands international, who has been a Red Devil target since 2014, could be ‘gifted’ to Mourinho by Manchester United in the summer.
With a deal at Lazio ending in 2018, next summer would be the best time for the Premier League side to pounce, but Chelsea ‘lurking in the shadows’ could prove an issue, even if it seems Antonio Conte could end up counting on Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and Nathan Aké next year.
Lazio, as has been previously reported numerous times, will expect around €30m (just under £26m) for their star defender, a fee Manchester United shouldn’t have too much trouble stumping up if they do indeed rate the Dutchman as highly as reports suggest.