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Liverpool boost as heavyweights reportedly identify Celtic star as replacement for top target

Liverpool have been handed a huge boost in their pursuit of Lazio centre-back Stefan de Vrij, as the Serie A giants have identified Celtic’s Jozo Simunovic as a replacement for the in-demand Dutchman.

Despite only recently breaking the bank to land Virgil van Dijk for a world-record £75million, the Reds are still very much keen to strengthen at the back, and another Netherlands international could arrive Anfield before next month.

However, they face competition from Manchester City and Barcelona who are also said to be keen on the 25-year-old de Vrij.

Celtic have already told Simunovic he is free to leave this month, and it looks like they would be doing Liverpool another favour too having been responsible for van Dijk’s Premier League move few seasons ago.

The 23-year-old Bosnian has played just 7 league games this term, and has lost his spot to teenage sensation Kristoffer Ajer.

Apart from Lazio, Crystal Palace and Burnley are also keen on Simunovic, with the former mulling over an £8million deal.