- Barcelona need to address their defence for short-term and long-term future
- De Vrij is reportedly close to reaching deal with Inter
- However, report claims he’s ready to delay that in hope of Barca move
- READ MORE: Coutinho to Barcelona: New €150m bid as completion timeline, contract details touted
Barcelona have an issue in defence, and a reported target in Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij wants to move to the Nou Camp, according to speculation.
The 25-year-old has established himself as a key figure for the capital club, putting a serious knee injury behind him to play 31 times last season, coupled with 15 outings this year, as he has formed an important part of the Lazio backline.
In turn, it’s no surprise that he’s attracted interest from elsewhere with his form on the pitch, while the fact that his current contract expires at the end of the season will also make him an appealing proposition.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Inter are seemingly in pole position for his signature but it’s now claimed that he’s holding up a move to join the Nerazzurri as he wants to assess his options and potentially wait for an offer from Barcelona.
Beyond Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique, Barca boss Ernesto Valverde doesn’t have the greatest of options to suggest that they can continue to compete for multiple trophies in the long-term future.
Javier Mascherano and Thomas Vermaelen currently form his back-up options, but with age and injury history in mind, that doesn’t instil a great level of belief. Although, it’s worth noting that the Belgian has helped his side keep four consecutive clean sheets in their last four outings.
Nevertheless, De Vrij is a top defender with many years ahead of him to shine for club and country, and that’s exactly what Barcelona need, either to compete with Pique and Umtiti now, or perhaps even eventually replace the Spaniard who turns 31 in February.
As a result, it would make a lot of sense for the Catalan giants to draft in the Dutch international, while the report adds that the likes of Yerry Mina and Napoli’s Kalidou Kouliably have also come into consideration but will cost significantly more than De Vrij, who could arrive for nothing in the summer.