Lazio president Claudio Lotito has shed new light on the club’s decision to dismiss the idea of pursuing Manchester United flop Fred. Despite recent speculation linking the Biancocelesti with a move for the ex-Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder, Lotito has called the deal off.
In an interview with Il Messaggero, the Lazio bigwig explained the reasons for his recent actions. According to Lotito, Maurizio Sarri has played a pivotal role in convincing him to drop his interest in Fred. The Brazilian is on the verge of leaving Man Utd. But the Stadio Olimpico won’t be his next destination.
“I was prepared to open talks with Man United and bid for Fred, but Maurizio Sarri told me no — he doesn’t want Fred,” he said, as quoted by Fabrizio Romano.
Following Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s blockbuster switch to Al-Hilal, Lazio must address their midfield shortcomings. Fred’s name was at the forefront of intense rumors before Lotito pulled the plug on the deal to pursue other targets.
He did the same with Tottenham Hotspur Giovani Lo Celso. Sarri’s reluctance to work with the two Premier League underachievers persuaded Lotito to look elsewhere. Lazio must land a new midfielder, but they could shop in Serie A.
Napoli’s Piotr Zielinski and Torino’s Samuele Ricci are the profiles appreciated by Sarri. Lotito confirmed the Lazio boss has his sights set on the two domestic stalwarts.
“Sarri wants Zielinski and Ricci,” he said.
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