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Manchester United and Chelsea in transfer battle over £35m defensive solution

It’s no secret that both Manchester United and Chelsea have been linked with numerous defensive targets in the January transfer window so far.

Although both Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte seemingly have solid options at their disposal already, they are keen to build on that and strengthen further.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, as reported by The Express, Stefan De Vrij is set to become their top target again with the pink paper valuing the Lazio defender at £35m.

The Dutchman will enter the final year of his contract next season, and in the event that he doesn’t sign new terms, the Biancocelesti are likely to become increasingly nervous that he may leave the Italian capital despite their good form so far this season.

Simone Inzaghi’s side currently sit in fourth place in Serie A as they continue to chase down a Champions League qualification spot, but whether that’s enough to fend off the likes of United and Chelsea when it comes to De Vrij remains to be seen.

On his part, the 24-year-old has recovered from a serious injury suffered over a year ago to now show his worth for the capital club, and so it’s no surprise that Lazio will want to secure his long-term future and that there is interest from elsewhere.

It’s added by the Express that De Vrij is almost seen as a back-up option for both United and Chelsea who have seen their attempts to sign their top targets fail to this point.

Given their current position, it’s questionable as to whether Lazio would be willing to sell this month if the right offer came in, as surely they will be desperate to push on and finish in the top three and will need key players like De Vrij to lead their charge.

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