Ten Hag could land Varane 2.0 in Man United swoop for”passionate”£15m talent

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Manchester United have been long-term linked with a move for Stefan de Vrij and now a new update has emerged on the club’s pursuit of the player.

According to Italian news outlet Calciomercato, Erik ten Hag is preparing a proposal to rival Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur for the Inter Milan centre-back.

As per the report, De Vrij is no closer to signing a new contract despite his deal expiring in the summer of 2023, which has led to continued interest from both Man United and Spurs.

Despite a striker being the top priority at Old Trafford in the new year, adding depth and quality to the back-line could be a great opportunity for the Red Devils.

In their victory over Nottingham Forest last night, Luke Shaw played in the centre-back role due to Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof suffering from illness, whilst Lisandro Martinez was excused due to his World Cup exploits.

Indeed, it didn’t throw Man United off course as they delivered a 3-0 victory in front of the home support to put them just one point behind Spurs in the Premier League table in the race for the top four.

The opportunity to sign De Vrij at a cut price could be hugely valuable to Man United in their pursuit to return to Champions League football and compete at the highest level in domestic competitions after suffering their worst trophy drought in four decades.

Over 12 Serie A appearances this season, the £15m Dutchman – who was hailed “passionate” by Conte – has scored one goal and completed 100% of his dribbles, as well as averaging 42 accurate passes, two interceptions, one tackle and 4.3 duels won per game.

In fact, Ten Hag could even land a similar talent to Raphael Varane in a swoop for De Vrij, as the Manchester United defender is named as one of the most comparable players to the Inter sensation, according to FBref.

The positional peers have many similarities in their output over the campaign so far including pass completion rate (88% v 85.6%), tackles attempted (12 v 3), clearances completed (37 v 42) and ball recoveries (51 v 40).

With that being said, if the powers at Old Trafford can secure a good deal for De Vrij either in January or by signing him as a free agent in the summer it would be a worthwhile investment into the team’s defensive set-up.

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