Southampton look to De Vrij as Lovren replacement - report

Stefan De Vrij

Southampton are reportedly looking to beat Manchester United to the signing of Stefan De Vrij as a replacement for Dejan Lovren.

Lovren looks set to complete a move to Liverpool for a transfer fee in excess of £20 million and The Saints are hoping to reinvest immediately by bringing in Feyenoord's impressive young defender Stefan De Vrij.

The 22-year-old was a key part of Louis Van Gaal's Netherlands squad at this summer's World Cup and is looking likely to leave the Eredivisie for a move to the Premier League.

With Van Gaal now at United and the squad in desperate need of defensive additions, The Red Devils have been strongly linked with a move for De Vrij, but Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is hoping to win the race.

Koeman managed De Vrij at Feyenoord and made him captain after Ron Vlaar left for Aston Villa in 2012, and will hope that he can convince the young defender to make the move to Southampton.

Lovren was a key member of The Saints side last season and played 31 games at centre-back in his first season in the Premier League, but now has his heart set on a move to Liverpool and looks likely to be the latest star to head out of St Mary's.

De Vrij is less experienced than Lovren, but enjoyed a successful World Cup campaign as the Netherlands finished third at the tournament, with the centre-back also netting his first international goal in the 5-1 win against Spain.

  TeamPosAppsGoalsWon Tackle / appsAerial Won / appsInterception / appsTotal Clearance / appsMins
Stefan De Vrij Feyenoord DF 32 4 1.81 1.88 1.97 6.47 2,841
Dejan Lovren Southampton DF 31 2 1.55 3.26 2.71 7.71 2,788

De Vrij scored two more goals than the Croatian last season, and also won more tackles per appearance but Lovren was more dominant in the air, and made more interceptions and clearances too.

The 25-year-old would be a huge loss to Southampton if the expected move to Liverpool goes through, but in De Vrij they would have a player with plenty of potential.

The young Dutchman showcased his talents in Brazil and would look to hit the ground running in the Premier League if he were to make the switch.

He has just one year remaining on his contract and as a result could be signed for as little as £8 million and Koeman will have money to spend following the departures this summer.

Would De Vrij be an ideal replacement for Dejan Lovren at Southampton?

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