Edy Reja has confirmed he is leaving Lazio, due to the failure to qualify for Europe last season and issues between the club and its fans.
The 68-year-old returned to the Olimpico midway through last term as replacement for Vladimir Petkovic, but headed into this summer with increasing speculation over his future.
On from yesterday meeting with President Claudio Lotito, the veteran has confirmed rumours that emerged that he is quitting the club.
“When we said goodbye at the end of the season, the President had renewed confidence and trust and proposed to continue the relationship,” began Reja on Lazio’s official radio station Lazio Style Radio this morning.
“I told him I had a feeling that my cycle had ended, it was right to change. It is right that Lazio changes Coach to provide new ideas, new enthusiasm.”
The season was marred by a worsening relationship between Ultras and Lotito, over the President’s management of the club.
“We cannot continue this critical situation with the environment, it is not good - we need to find the right system to rediscover the enthusiasm. It seems to me that the club is operating in the right way.
“I thank President Lotito and [sporting director Igli] Tare, who yesterday asked me to stay. I have had successes and difficulties here, there have been criticisms, whilst that is right.
“We did not reach our initial goal, which was Europe - if we had then my position would have been different, but without Europe, I received a blow.
“It was enough for us to have beaten Torino and gotten in - there would be other scenarios, another market…several players would have had more interest in coming to Rome.
“It is not that the club is not willing to operate on the market, as we have seen. With the President I have been in touch to see what we can do at an operational level, I have made my experience available.
“We know what the goals are on the market - President Lotito wants to do well in the market, in order to remove the scepticism around the team.
“To see the stadium empty hurt, there is a desire to ‘Lazialita’ - my thoughts are based on this - I believe it is right to change to give a new enthusiasm to the team and to the fans.
“The players need the support of the people, something that we have lacked without our fans. With a bit more perhaps we could have done it…
“We must recreate the right excitement - people must be closer to the team, the club has to repair its relations with the fans, or in how they expose themselves, or in the way that they operate.
“The experience in Rome has been the toughest of my life.”
Stefano Pioli is rumoured as in pole position to replace Reja, but the likes of Roberto Donadoni, Max Allegri and Primavera boss Simone Inzaghi have all been linked too.
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