Lazio On the Hunt for Goalkeeper, Strakosha Set to Leave Olimpico

Albanian shot-stopper Thomas Strakosha is finally set to leave boyhood club Lazio. The goalkeeper has decided not to renew his contract with the Biancocelesti, forcing the capital club to search for reinforcements.

With his contract set to expire in June 2022 and no talks between Strakosha and Lazio, the goalkeeper is allowed to sign a pre-contract agreement with a club of his choice from next week onwards, when the January winter transfer window closes. Strakosha was touted to sign a new contract before the end of the season but his performances of late, along with the change in club’s hierarchy has changed everything.

Veteran Pepe Reina’s contract also expires at the Stadio Olimpico. However, a clause in his contract dictates that he will automatically renew for another season, given Lazio’s qualification in Europe next season. 39-year-old Reina’s stance will not affect Lazio’s search for a young and dynamic guardian between the posts.

Lazio, who are facing a negative liquidity index, need to scout the transfer market with great diligence to find their right target. And four names have emerged as most likely candidates, according to TUTTOmercatoweb.

Cagliari goalkeepers Alessio Cragno and Guglielmo Vicario are two frontrunners being linked with a move to Rome. The former is a starter at Walter Mazzarri’s relegation-bound club and he has already established himself as one of Serie A’s most impressive players. Vicario on the other hand, is also owned by Cagliari, but is currently serving a loan spell at Empoli, where he has undoubtedly impressed.

Cragno will arrive for nothing less than €15-20m, whereas Empoli are bound to activate Vicario’s option to buy clause of €10m, making it a potential transfer involving three clubs if Lazio seek to pursue him.

Napoli’s Alex Meret is another player from Serie A who Lazio have displayed interest in.

The last and the most high-profile name of all is Chelsea outcast Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has fallen down Thomas Tuchel’s pecking order at Stamford Bridge to the impressive Edouard Mendy. He is also, however, the most expensive of all the goalkeepers, but Sarri is said to be a fan of him.