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Reported Liverpool target Stefan De Vrij will be available on a free transfer this summer after Lazio director Igli Tare confirms he will NOT sign a new contract.
“Lazio have withdrawn the proposal we made for a new contract to De Vrij,” director of sport Tare told Mediaset Premium ahead of tonight’s Serie A match with Verona.
“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.
“It’s a matter of fairness. This is not the opportune time to give the reasons for this decision, but we had to give a response and we gave it this evening.
“It is better to look forward, as Lazio are a side who have grown in recent years and will continue to grow, because we certainly do not lack players.
De Vrij, 26, was looked at as a possible Van Dijk alternative when it looked like the Reds would struggle to get the deal over the line for the Dutch international, Liverpool would eventually get their man in January for a world record fee of £75m.
An added bonus for Liverpool would be that De Vrij & Van Dijk are international partners with Holland, so they would not have a problem settling in as a pair.
The Reds will see a host of challengers for the defenders signature with Manchester United, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Inter Milan all interested in his services.