Newcastle United are reportedly battling to sign Inter Milan central defender Stefan de Vrij on a pre-contract.
The Lowdown: Out of contract
De Vrij is out of contract at the San Siro in the summer, meaning that he can leave as a free agent.
It also means that he can sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club in the January transfer window, with the Premier League seemingly looming.
The Latest: Newcastle make contact
As per Italian news outlet L’Interista, the St. James’ Park outfit have already made contact with De Vrij’s entourage over a potential move.
However, they are likely to face competition from Spurs and their manager Antonio Conte, who coached the Netherlands international at Inter and remains a ‘great admirer’ of his.
The Verdict: Get it done
De Vrij is a player with the quality and experience that can really elevate the North East club’s backline for next season.
Hailed as a ‘world-beater‘ by former Leeds striker now pundit Noel Whelan, the six-foot-two colossus was a Serie A champion with Inter in the 2020/21 term, while he also boasts over 50 caps for the Dutch national side.
De Vrij’s playing style is similar to the likes of Manchester United’s Raphael Varane and Brighton and Hove Albion’s Lewis Dunk (FBref), established top-flight centre-backs, and so the 30-year-old should be able to adapt to the division fairly quickly.
Nonetheless, if the Magpies could sign him on a pre-contract, thus bringing him in for free next summer, it should prove to be a real bargain.
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