At this point few could blame Lazio if they told Stefan de Vrij they’re selling him for whatever they can get this month and tried to force the Dutchman out.
A renewal is supposed to be a show of commitment, but De Vrij’s proposed Lazio one, which he still hasn’t actually signed, looks like anything but.
The defender will have a €25m release clause, and Lazio’s sporting director has confirmed it will be applicable to all clubs.
There’s not even a block which stops a rival Serie A club getting him for that, and the length of the contract will be extended from 2018 all the way to 2019, yes, just 12 months more. If Lazio qualify for the Champions League the deal can be extended for longer.
It all seems more of a marketing exercise, and clubs continue to be linked. Manchester City and Manchester United now seem to be the favoured foreign names for the Italian media, and it’s thought Lazio would prefer he went there rather than Juventus, Napoli or Inter Milan.
A couple of days ago Tuttosport reported Manchester City and Manchester United are the two non Italian clubs in the tussle to sign De Vrij in the summer for €25m.
Another Pep Guardiola versus Jose Mourinho transfer battle would be welcomed by many, but it wouldn’t make any difference to the money Lazio get.
Monday’s edition of Tuttosport has more of the same on De Vrij, reiterating Manchester City and Manchester United are in the race.
Lazio now have eight days to get De Vrij to actually put pen paper on a deal which makes the club look somewhat weak. Other players at the Rome club may well be inspired to also ask for low clauses, which could cause longer term trouble.
If the Netherlands international doesn’t sign in those eight days, and he’s managed to drag it out for months already, then he can sign for someone else for free and Lazio will have missed their last window to make any money.
Whatever happens, De Vrij wins. It’s great work by his agent, but not so great for Lazio.