Lazio Line Up Bid For Chelsea Outcast Emerson

Lazio are reportedly in the market for a new left-back to replace underperforming Albanian international Elseid Hysaj. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Maurizio Sarri has laid his eyes on Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri and Emanuele Valeri of Cremonese. 

Hysaj swapped Napoli for the Stadio Olimpico last summer. However, the 28-year-old experienced a substandard maiden season at Lazio. Following a promising start to his adventure in the capital, he tumbled down the pecking order at the tail-end of last season.

The Albanian’s form woes forced Sarri to deploy Adam Marusic as a makeshift left-back in the second half of 2021/22. Athleticism and dynamic movements down the flank helped the 29-year-old thrive in his new role. But Marusic is not a natural left-back by any stretch of the imagination. 

No wonder Sarri sees a high-performance left-back as the missing piece to his defensive jigsaw. Lazio recruited former Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli on a free transfer earlier this month. And now, the Biancocelesti are keen to bolster their options at the back even further.

Emerson reportedly tops Sarri’s wishlist. The Italian manager is familiar with the 27-year-old’s qualities. The two worked together at Stamford Bridge in 2018/19 as Chelsea won the Premier League under the Italian manager’s stewardship. 

Despite his decent showings under Sarri, Emerson has lost his place in Chelsea’s tactical set-up since 63-year-old’s exit. However, he went from strength to strength during an inspiring season-long loan at Lyon last term, catching the eye of his former boss again. 

Chelsea are open to selling their out-of-favour defender. Yet, they are asking north of €10m to sanction a deal. Unless Lazio can draw the price down, they will switch their attention to Valeri. 

The 24-year-old left-back enjoyed a stunning 2021/22 Serie B campaign with Cremonese. He clocked up three goals and an assist while helping his side earn a long-awaited promotion to Serie A. And unlike Emerson, his price tag won’t exceed €3m. 

Valeri’s contract at Cremonese runs until next summer. That means he could be available on a cut-price deal in the coming weeks. On top of that, he is a die-hard Lazio fan.