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Manchester City and Barcelona ‘explore’ deal for Dutch defender, player has other plans – report

Manchester City and Barcelona have both explored the possibility of signing Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij in recent weeks, famed Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport claims.

The 26-year-old is one of Europe’s hottest free agents in the summer with his contract up, and is almost certain to join Lazio’s domestic rivals Inter, but that hasn’t stopped City and Barça asking some questions to his representatives.

Despite their late arrival to the party, the Dutch international is reported to have given a verbal agreement to Inter and this fresh interest has caused them to speed things up to try and formalise the deal.

Inter dream of creating an ‘iron defence’ of De Vrij and another recent City target, Milan Škriniar, who the Blues considered before paying a club-record fee for Aymeric Laporte.

Although De Vrij is San Siro-bound, City’s alleged interest is curious given that they have Laporte, Nicolas Otamendi, Vincent Kompany and John Stones on the books, and is perhaps a suggestion that doubts remain over Vincent Kompany’s fitness despite his recent run in the side.

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