Edy Reja admits he didn’t think Hernanes would leave and “several rejected transfers to Lazio,” including Sebastian Giovinco.
The Coach spoke in a Press conference ahead of Sunday’s trip to Chievo. Click here for a match preview.
“Up until three days ago, I never considered Hernanes would leave,” confessed Reja after his deadline day move to Inter.
“The President had proposed a five-year renewal, but he said he preferred other options. I wanted Hernanes in the first place and pushed for him among five names proposed to me, including Kevin-Prince Boateng.
“He is an extraordinary person who gave Lazio a great deal from a human and sporting point of view. Football scenarios can be a bit strange at times. This offer arrived, the lad accepted, we just have to take that into account and turn over a new leaf.”
Biancocelesti fans were not only furious at the Hernanes departure, but also disappointed that the only incoming players are Helder Postiga from Valencia and Gael Kakuta on loan from Chelsea.
“There were around 10 names that we sought out to replace Hernanes, but they all rejected us. Juventus had a few players who were of interest to us and they all said no,” revealed Reja.
“It’s true, we asked for Sebastian Giovinco, but nobody wanted to come to Lazio. We were a bit upset. At the end, Jonathan Biabiany seemed to be a done deal, but evidently he was happy where he was at Parma.
“This offer for Hernanes arrived in a day or two and I didn’t think Inter would sign him. With that little time, it’s not easy to replace a player like him.
“I just ask the fans to give us a hand. Why did the players turn us down? I am just a Coach, so I work with the team I am given. There are regrets the players did not accept the transfer, but I can’t do anything about that.
“Kakuta is a left-sided player who can play in the front three and behind the centre-forward. Stefano Mauri will be back too and he can take any of the attacking roles.”
“I will try to get the most from this squad, who will put 200 per cent on the field. We’ll put the effort in to quality for the Europa League, even if the squad isn’t so large now. You know the situation now, so I don’t intend to talk about it anymore.”
Lazio play Chievo on Sunday afternoon and Eugenio Corini’s side held Napoli to a draw last week.
“Lately they have put in some good performances, are organised, close up well and leave few spaces. We too are coming off positive results and I expect more improvements.”