Simone Inzaghi reveals he turned down offers from Italy and abroad, because he wanted to “open a new era with even more conviction” at Lazio.
The tactician signed a new contract this week holding him to the club until June 2021, despite interest from Milan and Juventus.
“I wanted to take a moment to reflect, as after three years in this job, I had to clear my head,” Inzaghi told the Corriere dello Sport.
“I consider myself to be a reliable person, a professional, so I don’t want to take anyone for a ride. Mentally, I needed to close off the era we started in 2016 and then, eventually, open a new era with even more conviction.
“I am ready now for this new challenge and a technical project shared with the club. I can say right away: my staff and I will aim for important targets. It must be a season of immense enthusiasm, stronger and more united than ever.”
Inzaghi had been linked with the vacant jobs at Milan and Juventus, confessing there was more than a little truth to the rumours.
“It was obviously pleasing to be considered, but I received offers in 2016 too when we lost out on Champions League qualification at the final hurdle.
“There was an offer from an Italian club and one abroad. I certainly would’ve earned more there, but I always gave Lazio the priority, as it’s the team I support and hold in my heart. I am ambitious and want to grow, but at this moment, I want to do well here.
“My future is at Lazio and I am extremely happy to go forward with them.”
The Biancocelesti won the Coppa Italia last month, beating Atalanta 2-0 in the Final, so will go straight into the Europa League group phase and play Juventus in the Italian Super Cup.
“I spoke to the President and director (Igli) Tare, who told me the team will remain super-competitive. Tare is a guarantee on the transfer market and we are like a big family.
“When I first arrived at Lazio, we weren’t in Europe at all, but now we’ve been playing there regularly for three years and want to take the next step forward together.
“There are clubs in Italy with bigger budgets, but Lazio proved we can compete with hard work and ideas. Lazio represents life and family for me, as I’ve passed the Lazio passion on to my children. I try to enjoy every minute of it and realise I’m very privileged to be in this position.”