Report: Liverpool target Lazio star De Vrij as Van Dijk alternative

Southampton's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk walks from the pitch at half time in the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Southampton at Turf Moor in Burnley, north...

Liverpool are weighing up a move for Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij as a deal for Southampton's Virgil van Dijk looks unlikely.

Patrick Cutrone of AC Milan compete for the ball with Stefan De Vrij of SS Lazio during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and AC Milan at Stadio Olimpico on September 10, 2017 in Rome,...Patrick Cutrone of AC Milan competes for the ball with Stefan De Vrij of SS Lazio.

Liverpool are considering a January move for Lazio centre-back Stefan de Vrij, according to talkSPORT, as they look to solve their defensive issues.

The Reds have been heavily criticised for poor displays at the back during their recent 2-2 Champions League draw at home to Sevilla and 5-0 defeat at Manchester City in the Premier League.

Sevilla's French forward Wissam Ben Yedder (C) vies with Liverpool's Spanish defender Alberto Moreno and Liverpool's Croatian defender Dejan Lovren (R) during the UEFA Champions League...Sevilla forward Wissam Ben Yedder (C) vies with Liverpool's Alberto Moreno and Dejan Lovren (R).

De Vrij was supposedly on the Merseysiders' wish list this summer having done well for the Rome club since a 2014 move from PSV Eindhoven on the back of an impressive World Cup with the Netherlands.

However, their focus was instead on Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk in a deal that never materialised and now manager Jurgen Klopp is prepared to turn his attention elsewhere.

Southampton's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk walks from the pitch at half time in the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Southampton at Turf Moor in Burnley, north...Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk walks from the pitch at half time in the English Premier League football match against Burnley.

There could be further good news for the English side as well, with Calciomercato reporting De Vrij is yet to sign a new contract at the Stadio Olimpico due to a dispute over a release clause - which the 25-year-old wants to be around £22m while the Serie A club are holding out for closer to £26.4m.

The Dutchman's current deal expires at the end of this season, but Klopp will face competition from Juventus who are also keeping a close eye on the situation.

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