Chelsea and Everton go head-to-head for £30m defender

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Chelsea and Everton will go head-to-head in the summer to sign a £30m rated defender from the Serie A as both look to strengthen at the heart of defence.

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The pair will duel it out for Lazio’s Stefan de Vrij as the Dutchman turned down a new contract with the Serie A club.

That has prompted both Premier League clubs as well as other admirers to jump on the chance to sign the player who has impressed in recent years.

With only 14 months left on his contract, it is extremely likely that if he doesn’t sign a new deal by the end of the season, he will be put up for sale during the summer.

Chelsea, with Champions League football confirmed, will have the upper edge due to involvement in the biggest European competition, while Everton will likely have to settle for 7th and a Europa League spot.

De Vrij did play under Toffees boss Ronald Koeman at Feyenoord and the Dutch connection may be able to persuade the player to join a club in which he may get more playing time.

Regardless, it is likely that a deal would still cost in the region of £30m according to reports, something which both clubs should be able to afford but will still raise eyebrows over the sheer scale of the deal over someone fairly unknown to the Premier League.

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