With Stefan De Vrij’s departure from Lazio imminent, a search will surely be underway for a replacement. The latest name to be linked with the club is Schalke’s Matija Nastasić. According to CittaCeleste, the twenty-five-year-old former Fiorentina defender has a release clause of just €10M, which could tempt the notoriously frugal Lotito into submitting an offer. It is also understood that Nastasić is reluctant to renew his contract with Schalke, which runs until 2019.
Who is Matija Nastasić?
The name will probably be familiar to those who follow Calcio. He made twenty-five appearances for Fiorentina during the 2011-12 season before moving to Manchester City in the summer of 2012 for €24.4 million plus Stefan Savić at the age of just nineteen.
He won City’s Young Player of the Year in his debut season but failed to cement a regular spot at Eastlands and was loaned out to German side Schalke in January 2015 before joining permanently that summer for a fee of €12M.
After recovering from a long-term injury to his Achilles tendon, Nastasić established himself as a first-team regular for Schalke, making twenty-five starts, averaging two tackles a game and garnering a WhoScored rating of 6.81 as he helped Schalke qualify for the Champions League.
Nastasic also has twenty-seven caps for Serbia and could be playing alongside Lazio’s own Sergej Milinković-Savić at the World Cup, as both have been called up to the preliminary squad.