Lazio Leapfrog Inter in Race for Highly-Rated Left Wing-Back

Lazio have reportedly overtaken Inter in hot pursuit of in-demand Eintracht Frankfurt left wing-back Filip Kostic. According to Corriere dello Sport (via SempreInter), the Biancocelesti are confident of outmaneuvering the newly-crowned Italian champions in a keenly-contested race for the Serb’s signature.

It looks only a matter of time before Achraf Hakimi leaves Inter for a high-profile move, with Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea battling it out for the Moroccan’s services. The Nerazzurri have already made peace with the prospect of losing the prolific wing-back as part of their ongoing efforts to balance the books in the summer.

The name of Kostic has surfaced in the wake of growing speculations about Hakimi’s imminent departure. The Serbia international has enjoyed remarkable three years at Frankfurt since joining the club from Hamburger SV in summer 2018.

Kostic’s bursting runs down the left flank, his ability to dart past the opposition defenders and deliver deadly crosses into the box have made him one of the most prolific wing-backs in Europe’s top-five leagues. So it comes as no surprise that Inter have turned to the 28-year-old to replace the highly sought-after Hakimi.

Some recent reports have suggested Simone Inzaghi’s side already have an agreement in place with Kostic to move to the Giuseppe Meazza in the summer. However, the reigning Serie A champions now face the risk of missing out on the left-footed star’s signature as Lazio look to hijack their plans.

Claudio Lotito entertains the idea of signing Kostic on a season-long loan with a mandatory buy-out clause if the Biancocelesti land a top-four finish in the 2021/22 Serie A season. The Serb would be a massive upgrade on Maurizio Sarri’s current options on the left flank. 

Stefan Radu and Mohamed Fares have blown hot and cold on that left side, and Sarri has made replacing them one of his priorities after taking over the reins at the Stadio Olimpico.