Lazio Plotting Attempts to Lure Juan Mata and Nikola Maksimovic

Lazio are mulling two quality additions on free transfers as they are tracking Juan Mata and Nikola Maksimovic, whose deals are up in the summer. They face competition for both, but their early work on them has been fruitful, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports.

The Biancocelesti are trying to pull off with the Spanish attacker the same type of move they almost completed with David Silva last summer before Real Sociedad swooped in at the last second. They are looking for a player that can play between the lines, operating either as a second-striker or as an offensive-minded midfielder. He would take Andreas Pereira’s spot in the roster, who will not be retained from Manchester United past the loan spell.

Sporting director Igli Tare has reached out to the entourage of Mata, who is earning €8M per year with the Red Devils. He will not renew his deal as he will move elsewhere and has shown interest in the destination. However, Lazio are unlikely to offer more than half his current salary. A multi-year contract could satisfy both parties, but the success of the operation will hinge of what other bids he receives.

Maksimovic is set to depart Napoli after three years, where he has mostly been a backup. The Biancocelesti could give him a meaningful role as they want to move on from Mateo Musacchio and Wesley Hoedt. The former penned just a six-month contract when he joined from Milan, while the Dutch center-back is on loan from Southampton, and the €5M option to acquire him will not be picked up. Maksimovic is asking for feasible wages, but he is in high demand.