Newcastle United could revive their interest in Inter Milan centre-back Stefan de Vrij in the new year, according to reports in Italy.
De Vrij was one of the centre-backs to be linked with Newcastle for the summer 2022 transfer window. Ultimately, they went for a different Dutch defender, signing Sven Botman from Lille.
Botman has started four matches in the Premier League so far for his new club. He is competing for a place with the likes of Dan Burn, Fabian Schar and Jamaal Lascelles.
But there remains a chance that Newcastle’s defence could evolve further in 2023. By that time, they could be ready to flex their financial muscles again.
One player they could revisit, according to La Gazzetta Dello Sport, is Stefan de Vrij.
The 30-year-old will be out of contract with Inter Milan at the end of the season. And according to the newspaper based in the same city as his club, De Vrij could be preparing to leave Inter as a free agent.
In the event of his possible departure, Newcastle have been listed as potential takers for the former Lazio man.
De Vrij has never played in the Premier League before, but has attracted several English clubs throughout the years. It remains to be seen if Newcastle will be the club to finally bring him to these shores.
If he waits until he becomes a free agent, he would be 31 by the time Newcastle would be able to sign him. Still, his experience could be beneficial to a club looking to grow.
De Vrij has appropriate experience to help Newcastle
De Vrij has played in the Champions League for Inter – and previously Feyenoord – while he has featured in the Europa League for all three of the clubs to have employed him up to this point in his career.
Since he joined Inter in 2018, the Netherlands international has amassed 173 appearances in all competitions. It has been the busiest spell of his career, although it could be approaching its conclusion.
De Vrij still has something to offer at the top level, though, and may be the kind of player Newcastle need to look at in the medium term if they are to aim for European territory themselves eventually.
For now, he must keep focusing on his commitments with Inter. He has started six of their seven Serie A matches so far this season. However, their form has been inconsistent.
Therefore, their squad will all have to pull their weight to get back on track while they are there. Beyond this particular blip, some of them – like De Vrij – could be considering futures elsewhere.
And although it would not be ideal for Inter to lose a player of De Vrij’s stature for free, they signed him on the same terms in the first place. Hence, if Newcastle show enough patience and put together a convincing plan, they might be able to get their man.
Perhaps having another Dutchman to learn from could bring the best out of the less senior Botman too. All in all, De Vrij is someone worth pursuing if he remains available when the time comes.
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