Football Soccer - Inter Milan v Lazio - Italian Serie A - San Siro Stadium, Milan, Italy - 21/12/2016. Inter Milan's Ivan Perisic (R) and Lazio's Stefan De Vrij fight for the ball. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

By Danny Wright

Liverpool have taken interest in Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij, according to a reliable journalist.

Sky Sports Italy correspondent Gianluca Di Marzio has reported on his personal website that the Reds are keen on the Serie A enforcer after officially ending their pursuit of Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk.

Liverpool announced a major development in their pursuit of the Saints centre-back on their official club website on Wednesday as they confirmed that they are no longer going to try to sign him and apologised to their Premier League rivals.

The Daily Star reported in March that de Vrij is rated at £30million, and also wanted by Everton and Chelsea.

Di Marzio has reported that van Dijk’s Netherlands teammate has become the latest target of the Merseysiders.

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The 25-year-old is very highly-rated in Serie A and has been a major part in helping Lazio finish fifth in the Italian top tier this year.

He made 31 appearances across all competitions, scoring two goals and supplying three assists.

The 30-times Netherlands international has been at the Rome-based outfit since 2014 after rising through the ranks at current Eredivisie champions Feyenoord.

De Vrij was part of Louis Van Gaal’s Dutch side that finished third-placed at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

His performances evidently impressed Lazio and he decided to move to the Stadio Olimpico, despite being linked with Manchester United.

Football Insider Verdict

As one door closes, another one opens. De Vrij is a top quality centre-back and any team in Europe would be lucky to have a player of his defensive qualities. He’s good in the air, good with the ball at his feet and most importantly he is very hard to get past. The Lazio stopper could prove to be a better signing than van Dijk and could easily become a favourite on Merseyside for years to come. He is about to his the peak of his career and three years in Italy means that he should be well-oiled for a switch to the Premier League. Van Dijk is a proven performer in England, which is something that de Vrij isn’t. However he will surely prove to be a success if he finds himself on Merseyside.

In other Liverpool news, Don Hutchison has said the Reds must go all out to sign this attacker.

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