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Chelsea interested in signing Inter Milan defender Stefan de Vrij. The London giants have identified the Netherlands international as an alternative option for compatriot Matthijs de Ligt in this summer transfer window.

It is clear that Chelsea have been in the market to strengthen their back-line this transfer window, and understandably so, given as Thiago Silva is fast approaching the twilight of his career. At the same time, captain Cesar Azpilicueta is no spring chicken either.

In addition, both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are in the final year of their deals. Furthermore, Kurt Zouma has also been strongly linked with an exit from Chelsea after dropping down the pecking order under the German manager.

Given that Chelsea have already allowed Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi to leave as well, it becomes imperative that a new defender is brought in before the transfer window slams shut.

A move for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde is believed to be in the works, with reports claiming that personal terms have already been agreed with the Frenchman, according to a report.

However, his €80m release clause is proving to be problematic, with La Liga giants unwilling to accept any player-plus-cash proposals. So, it looks like the Blues are keeping their options open, having identified Matthijs de Ligt as one of the alternatives.

Chelsea were already preparing a bid for the Juventus defender. However, as per the aforementioned report, the Old Lady have rebuffed their approaches, leading to Chelsea now eyeing Matthij’s compatriot, Stefan de Vrij.

A product of the Feyenoord youth academy, Stefan has been in Italy for seven years, joining Lazio in 2014. After four years in Lazio, de Vrij moved to Inter Milan in 2018 and has grown into one of the best defenders in the league during his time with the club.

The 29-year-old defender played a key part in the Nerazzurri’s Scudetto triumph last campaign. However, having entered the final year of his deal, the Dutch defender could be up for grabs, especially considering Inter Milan’s dire financial situation.

The Blues, who are already plotting to snare away Romelu Lukaku from San Siro, are now set to swoop for the centre-back as well, the report adds.

Considering his experience and familiarity with the three-man defensive system that the German manager employs, Stefan would be the ideal replacement for Thiago Silva at Stamford Bridge. Whether this interest leads into a formal approach stays to be seen, however.