Aston Villa have been linked with a move for Inter Milan centre-back Stefan de Vrij this summer.
The Lowdown: Villa looking for another centre-back
Steven Gerrard’s side have been linked with several centre-backs this summer transfer window including Calvin Bassey and James Tarkowski, suggesting that the Villa manager would like to bolster his options in this department.
The West Midlands side have already signed another option at the back this season, with Sevilla’s Diego Carlos joining the Premier League club for a reported £26m.
The Latest: Villa and Man United looking at de Vrij
According to Rudy Galetti, de Vrij could leave Inter Milan this summer with his contract expiring in 12 months’ time, and both Villa and Manchester United have shown an interest in the Dutch centre-back.
“Stefan #DeVrij could leave #Inter during the summer,” he tweeted. “Some #EPL clubs have shown interest in the centre-back: #MUTD and #AVFC are among these.”
The £25.2m-rated beast signed for Inter on a free transfer from Lazio in the summer of 2018, but it now looks like his time at the San Siro could be up.
The Verdict: Sign him up!
Whilst Villa have already spent a significant amount of money on the aforementioned Carlos, de Vrij would be yet another upgrade on the club’s other centre-back options.
The 30-year-old has been dubbed a “monster” by former Lazio teammate Mauricio, suggesting he has an excellent reputation with those who have played with him.
The 6 foot 2 titan was a regular for the Nerazzurri last season, playing in 41 games across the campaign, scoring a singular goal and providing just one solitary assist, according to Transfermarkt.
The 57-time Netherlands international is an extremely competent passer of the ball, ranking in the top 5% of centre-backs across Europe for pass completion percentage per 90 minutes last season (92.7%) according to FBref.
The same stats provider also shows that over the last campaign, de Vrij made a combined 86 tackles and interceptions, alongside 20 blocks and 83 successful pressures in Serie A, suggesting that he would have what it takes to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League.
A SofaScore rating of 6.88 for the Serie A season just gone suggests that the former Lazio man has had a decent season and that when called upon he has been an effective presence in Inter’s backline.
This is a signing that Gerrard should be looking to get over the line as soon as possible, as de Vrij would be a huge upgrade on both Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa, and may be able to take the West Midlands side into European contention.
In other news, “Villa have no plans to sell him” – Crook gives update on £31.5m-rated tireless “work-force”