Lazio President Quiets Chatter on Mertens and Marcelo

Lazio has been linked to Dries Mertens and Marcelo, who are currently without a team, but their president Claudio Lotito threw cold water on the rumors, denying any interest. On the other hand, his remarks might be tactical to facilitate the talks.

The chairman briefly spoke to Il Messaggero (via Tuttomercatoweb) about the two free agents.

“I have never contacted the Belgian striker, nor have I offered him a contract because our roster does not need him. There is nothing true to the reports about the left-back either. They were artfully created.”

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis discussed the negotiation with Mertens with some fans during the pre-season retreat (via Calciomercato).

“I put €1.8M on the table, then I raised the wages by €200k and finally to €2.4M. He rejected. He wished to stay for one more season.”

Intermediary Stefano Quadri spoke about Marcelo.

“We propopsed him to Lazio and he would come to Rome with major enthusiasm. We are waiting for a call from their management to start the negotiation. He has two offers, but not from leagues of Serie A’s level. He will be back from vacation in ten days, and he will make his decision right after.”

Our Take on Mertens and Marcelo Being Linked to Lazio

The Biancocelesti have decisively gone young this summer, so these two signings would not jibe at all with such strategy. Plus, they generally do not hand out large wages to older players. They do have a need in those roles, though. Furthermore, if the former Napoli star wants to play regularly, they do not make much sense as a destination considering the presence of Ciro Immobile. The landing spots for him in Italy have dried up quickly.