Report: Lazio's pursuit of Celtic's Jozo Simunovic on hold until the summer

RSC Anderlecht's Lukasz Teodorczyk (R) fights for the ball with Celtic FC's Jozo Simunovic during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match Anderlecht vs Celtic at The Constant...

Lazio have decided against making a move for Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic during the January transfer window.

Jozo Simunovic of Celtic during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Paris Saint-Germain and Celtic FC at Parc des Princes on November 22, 2017 in Paris, France.

According to a report from The Sunday Post, Lazio have decided to put any plans to target Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic on hold until the summer.

The Sunday Post reports that the Serie A side were eyeing up a move for the Hoops ace worth around £4.5 million, however, Stefan De Vrij signing a new deal at Stadio Olimpico has handed Lazio a boost.

Stefan De Vrij of SS Lazio celebrates a opening goal with his team mates during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and ACF Fiorentina at Stadio Olimpico on November 26, 2017 in Rome, Italy.

De Vrij is wanted by Barcelona and Inter Milan, according to The Sunday Post, but he has extended his contract that was due to expire in the summer - and the new deal includes a release clause that will allow him to leave for £22 million. 

With the Dutchman looking set to remain until the summer, The Sunday Post suggests that a move for Simunovic is unlikely during this month's window and the interest may be reignited at the end of the campaign.

Brendan Rodgers, coach of Celtic and assistant Chris Davies look on during a Celtic training session on the eve of their UEFA Champions League match against Anderlecht at Lennoxtown...

With Erik Sviatchenko loaned out, it may feel like a boost for Brendan Rodgers that Lazio are planning to delay their pursuit of the 23-year-old. Simunovic may not have been at his best this season, but he is still a very promising centre-back and losing him in the final days of this window would have been a blow.

And of course, just because Lazio have shelved their plans for the time-being does not mean that Celtic will not have to contend with offers from elsewhere. But the fact that one of Europe's more high-profile clubs is seemingly not in the running right now may well give Rodgers a small reason for optimism.

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