Following the announcement John Terry will be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season after spending his entire career at Stamford Bridge, a new centre-back spot has opened itself under Antonio Conte.
The return of Kurt Zouma from injury and Andreas Christensen from his loan at Borussia Mönchengladbach are certainly options for the Italian manager, yet bringing a new centre-back from another club is also something that is being looked at.
Serie A will likely be where the former Juventus manager will cast his fishing net come the summer, and if Il Tempo on Tuesday are to be believed, Lazio’s Stefan De Vrij could be his prized catch.
The Dutch centre-back has been linked sporadically with a move to Stamford Bridge since last summer, but Manchester United were, mostly be Il Messaggero, branded as the favourites throughout.
However, that all changed just under a month ago when Gazzetta dello Sport suggested Chelsea had overtaken José Mourinho’s side in the race to sign the 25-year-old, a claim now also backed by Il Tempo.
They claim that a bid of €25-30m should be enough to convince Lazio to sell their star centre-back, and the Premier League leaders are now in pole position to acquire his services.
Whether Champions League football has anything to do with it isn’t mentioned (it most likely is), that’s where things appear to stand for now.
After all, De Vrij is a far more realistic option than Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly this summer after the Senegalese defender renewed with his club last September.