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Lazio center back wins race for first post-window Chelsea transfer rumor

SS Lazio v Udinese Calcio - Serie A Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Silly Season never sleeps, as we like to say around here, and while I have no idea how reliable ‘Citta Celeste’ may be as a source, less than a day after the January transfer window slammed shut, they are already claiming that Chelsea will return for Lazio’s Stefan de Vrij in the summer.

The 25-year-old center back, who’s been linked repeatedly with the Blues in recent seasons, is set to renew his expiring contract with Lazio, but apparently he’s doing it with the knowledge that they will let him go in the summer. So the contract merely guarantees that Lazio get a transfer fee out of him — €30m is the going rate — rather than letting him walk away for free.

Chelsea spent January shoring up a few key positions with better backups, but there’s plenty of work to be done in the summer regardless of who’s calling the shots. With Gary Cahill and David Luiz both on the wrong side of 30, the club’s defensive situation will be high up on the agenda as well, and we can probably expect a few more De Vrij rumors in addition to looking for in-house solutions (Zouma?).

In any case, congrats to Stefan de Vrij for winning the race to the first post-transfer window rumor, in what could be record time.

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