Manchester United’s pursuit of defender Stefan de Vrij on a free transfer at the end of the season has been handed a boost.
The centre-back’s current contract at Serie A side Lazio runs out in the summer and he’s attracting interest from Jose Mourinho, according to Football Italia.
De Vrij has been of interest to a number of major European clubs over the course of his career, but is yet to move on from Lazio after moving to Italy in 2014 from Dutch side Feyernoord.
Lazio sporting director Igil Tare confirmed that de Vrij will leave the club on a free transfer at the end of the season.
“Lazio have withdrawn the proposal we made for a new contract to De Vrij,” Tare explained to Mediaset Premium.
“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.
“We did things the right way, but things changed at the last moment. We no longer wish to continue along this path. The only thing certain is that in the world there are no lack of players.”
Man United’s rivals, Liverpool and Everton, are both also interested in signing the 26-year-old, as per the Liverpool Echo.
Mourinho brought in Zlatan Ibrahimovic in on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in 2016 and Alexis Sanchez in a straight player-swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan in January. United need improvements in defence, with Eric Bailly the only consistently quality central defender in the side.