Premier League duo Manchester United and Liverpool have been handed boosts in their pursuits of Roma centre back Stefan de Vrij after it emerged that - contrary to reports in Italy - Inter have not secured a pre-contract arrangement with the player.
Inter tried to sign De Vrij in January but a deal collapsed over owner Suning's desire to slow the negotiations down. The Lazio defender will be out of contract in the summer and, with under six months left on his contract, is allowed to listen to summer offers.
“I cannot confirm something like that,” Piero Ausilio told Mediaset (via Talksport). “I can only talk about Inter and our players.”
Both Manchester United and Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing the Dutchman on a free in the summer.
De Vrij could partner up with compatriot Virgil van Dijk in the centre of the Reds' defence should he move to Anfield. At Old Trafford, centre backs Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof have all struggled for form this season and - with De Vrij set to cost nothing - Mourinho could be tempted into making a move.
The Netherlands international joined Lazio from Eredivisie side Feyenoord in 2014. Since his move to Stadio Olimpico, the centre back has made a total of 83 appearances in which he has scored six goals for the Biancocelesti.
A number of clubs were put on alert when it was announced that he would not extend his stay in Rome. Inter were subsequently rumoured to have agreed a deal for the 26-year-old, a claim which has since been refuted by sporting director Ausilio.