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Chelsea and Liverpool transfer target Stefan de Vrij rejects Lazio contract offer — report

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AS Roma v SS Lazio - Serie A Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images

After Southampton threw a fit over Virgil van Dijk (good luck, Liverpool), other teams are understandably steering clear of the 25-year-old center back, at least for now.

Taking center stage instead is Van Dijk’s international teammate Stefan de Vrij, who was the subject of a failed Chelsea bid last summer and has been the subject of a failed Liverpool bid this summer already. Unfortunately for Lazio, De Vrij has in turn rejected their contract extension offer, too.

According to Corriere Dello Sport, De Vrij believes that he has reached the end of his cycle at Lazio after spending three seasons at the team — though the middle one was spent away from the pitch thanks to a serious knee injury. De Vrij’s preference is to leave Italy for the Premier League, apparently, and if club president Claudio Lotito refuses to sanction his exit this summer, then he is more than happy to see out his contract and leave the club on a free transfer next year. (Ed.note: this why you always extend with two years left on a contract!)

Although De Vrij is not a "Premier League-proven" player, his year at Lazio after recovering from his knee issue was remarkable and he looks ready to resume the highly promising career that once saw him selected for the 2014 World Cup’s Team of the Tournament. His contractual situation should help any team bidding for his services, so if he’s truly ready to leave the Biancocelesti and isn’t just trying to squeeze out a better contract offer from them, Granovskaia & Co could have a decent opportunity to acquire some excellent reinforcement for the defensive corps.