Lazio to Finalize First Acquisition, Might Keep Stars

Lazio have sealed the deal for Marcos Antonio, whom they started pursuing in late May. The midfielder is will travel to Rome early next week to take the medicals and put pen to paper. The Biancocelesti will pay €9M for him. They could wait until July for the formal announcement for technical reasons, Corriere dello Sport reports.

The newcomer will replace Lucas Leiva, who is on an expiring contract. Although, he could switch to the box-to-box position down the line. He has mostly played in a 4-2-3-1 scheme during his time in Ukraine. He has featured in 101 matches with Shakhtar Donetsk, tallying 9 goals and 5 assists. The youngster originally arrived in Europe in 2018, transferring from Athletico Paranense to Estoril Praia.

According to La Repubblica, Lazio bested Roma, Atalanta, and Olympique Marseille in the race to sign Marcos Antonio. The soon-to-be 22-year-old had been linked to Juventus during the special transfer window created by FIFA due to the war in Ukraine.

The Brazilian might be the only addition to the Biancocelesti midfield for the time being. The other potential purchases hinge on the departures of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto. Despite the rumors, the market around the two stars has yet to heat up. Manchester United offered €55M for the former, while the latter has drawn €20M bids, which is too low for president Claudio Lotito, Il Tempo relays (via Tuttomercatoweb).

Our Take on Lazio Signing Marcos Antonio

It is a smart purchase by the Biancocelesti, who are both filling a void and bringing in an upgrade at the position. Moreover, he already has plenty of international experience despite his young age. Maurizio Sarri has already groomed brilliant deep-lying playmakers in the past, and Marcos Antonio could have the chops to join the club, lifting Lazio in the process.