As Jamie Carragher’s retirement date creeps ever closer, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has accelerated his interest in potential replacements.
Rodgers personally travelled to Holland to watch Feyenoord captain Stefan de Vrij in action, and will have been impressed by what he saw of the 21-year-old.
De Vrij helped his side on their way to a 2-1 win over PSV, and demonstrated the aerial dominance that makes for such a defining aspect of his game.
His installation as Feyenoord skipper at such a tender age also indicates De Vrij’s maturity, an attribute that will be of great importance to Liverpool in the absence of the experienced Carragher.
Already capped three times by Holland, he is tipped as a future star of the national side, and fancied to captain his country in years to come.
That notion is sure to bolster De Vrij’s transfer value, but the expiration date of his current Feyenoord contract will encourage the Reds that a reasonable fee can be agreed upon for his services.
De Vrij has just 18 months remaining on his current deal, and appears to have had his head turned by Premier League interest, which doesn’t solely come from Merseyside.
Indeed, Newcastle have also expressed an interest in the player, who told Dutch press, “I want to see what is happening now.
“I will focus on playing for the club and for Holland, but I won’t sit down with the club now about a new ¬contract.”
It is thought that Feyenoord will cash in on the player should he refuse to sign fresh terms by this summer, indicating that a Premier League switch is certainly in the offing.
Desperate to bring in at least one central defender, it is the Reds who are expected to push hardest in the chase for the Dutch international.
Concerns remain over the likes of Sebastian Coates and Martin Skrtel at Anfield, and De Vrij’s arrival could signal the beginning of a massive defensive shake-up on Merseyside this summer.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.