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Man Utd and Chelsea set to suffer huge setback in bid to sign top £30m defensive target

Man Utd and Chelsea are reportedly set to miss out on the signing of Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij, with Inter now favourites to snap him up.

As noted by The Express last month, United were linked with a £30m swoop for the Dutch international while Chelsea were also keen as both Premier League giants look to strengthen their respective defences ahead of next season.

De Vrij starred at the 2014 World Cup and after overcoming a series of serious injury setbacks in the Italian capital, he has returned to form and fitness particularly this year to prove his quality.

However, it looks as though he may snub the opportunity to play in England as according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter are scouting him and are ready to make their move to keep him in Serie A next year.

It’s claimed that the 25-year-old has agreed to sign a contract worth €3m per year, although a transfer fee has yet to be settled upon with the Biancocelesti.

With his current deal set to expire in 2018 and with renewal talks stalling, it’s suggested that Inter are looking to reduce his price-tag to around €18m-20m and have sent scouts to watch him against Bulgaria and Italy in the current international break.

Whether they are successful or not remains to be seen as Roma defender Kostas Manolas is also mentioned in the report as a possible target, but based on the figures and the claim that Inter are scouting De Vrij this week, it would suggest that they are keen on taking him away from Lazio this summer.

Stefano Pioli has overseen an impressive run of form since taking charge last year to lead Inter into the Europa League qualification spots. With the backing of wealthy owners the Suning Group, they will likely be given significant funds this summer to bolster the squad.

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