Thursday August 27 2020
Lazio keep getting left in the lurch

David Silva wasn’t the first and won’t be the last to leave Lazio at the transfer market altar, so Lee Bushe wonders what they are doing wrong.

Just as last season was drawing to a close, it was reported that Lazio were in talks to sign David Silva at the end of his Manchester City contract. At that time, there was a tangible sense of excitement among the Biancocelesti faithful: their team had just qualified for the Champions League for the first time in over a decade and now they were looking likely to sign one of the greatest midfielders the Premier League has ever had.

A little over a month later, that feeling of excitement has turned into frustration and scepticism that Lazio will be able to assemble a squad capable of simultaneously competing in Serie A and the Champions League next season. This was sparked by David Silva’s choice to join Real Sociedad over the Biancocelesti. His move had seemed imminent, but after a period of non-communication with Lazio, he decided to move back to his homeland.

It was a punch in the gut for Lazio fans, and this was compounded by the fact that talks with Borja Mayoral had also stalled. The Real Madrid striker had been heavily linked with a move to the Olimpico for a while, and negotiations between the two clubs had begun, but these soon came to a standstill and there is little sign that they will resume anytime soon.

These failed transfers - combined with the fact that Lazio have yet to make any notable signings - is what’s making Biancocelesti fans concerned. This is perfectly understandable, given owner Claudio Lotito’s reputation for being cheap on the transfer market, but there are signs that he’s loosening the purse strings a little bit.

Perhaps the clearest sign of this is the contract Lazio had reportedly offered Silva. They were prepared to hand the 34-year-old a three-year deal worth €4m a season including bonuses and threw in a personal driver and access to a private jet for good measure, something which would’ve seemed unthinkable this time last year. The fact Silva turned that down to take a shorter contract worth less at a club not in the Champions League does suggest a serious lack of Lazio appeal.

The reaction to the rejection was also not one of a big club. Lazio released a statement bitterly criticising Silva and stating they did not ‘respect the man’ for his behaviour, but the player insists he never made any promises. It’s not the first time the Aquile have found themselves left at the altar, so perhaps it’s time Igli Tare took a look at his own negotiating skills and asked why it keeps happening.

Another sign of Lotito’s increased ambition was the acquisition of Pepe Reina. At 37, he’s certainly past his best, but offers a wealth of Serie A, and - most importantly - Champions League experience. He probably won’t see much game time, but will be a seasoned and reassuring figure in the dressing room, and earns a decent salary considering he’ll spend most of the campaign warming the bench.

There have also been indications that Lotito is willing to spend more on transfer fees. Fenerbahçe striker Vedat Muriqi – with whom a deal for is reportedly getting closer despite his injury -  will cost €18m, which would make him one of the most expensive signings in the Lotito era. Assuming it happens, of course. Lazio were also offering €16m plus a couple of players for Verona’s promising defender Marash Kumbulla, though he seems more likely to move to Inter.

One mustn’t forget, however, that Lotito hasn’t changed overnight. Lazio have reportedly agreed a contract with SPAL wing-back Mohamed Fares - a quality player who would fit perfectly into manager Simone Inzaghi’s system - but there is  a disagreement between the two clubs regarding his fee. The Biancocelesti want to pay €6m (plus two players) while the Biancazzurri are asking for something between €10m and €11m. You would argue that he is worth that.

So while the Fares negotiations may indicate that Lotito is still penny-pinching where possible, their overall approach to the market has been positive. Spending more money is the bare minimum though, if they are to do well in the Champions League and simultaneously compete for a top-four finish. It would be difficult to foresee Lazio sustaining last season’s success if they continue being this frugal.

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit:

Have your say...
Lazio again with little ambition shown in transfer market. This is why better to have Napoli, Roma, or even Milan to qualify for UCL. Even atalanta are investing with miranchuk

Honestly, UCL qualification is more important than domestic cup competition like coppa italia or supercup. Especially in terms of financial benefit. Most teams usually play their 2nd string in domestic cup until they proceed to semifinal. They should give UCL qualification for coppa italia winner to give more importance.
on the 30th August, 2020 at 12:55am
So much for "big club". --It's not like Roma fought for Scudettos & CLs...

In meantime, Lazio won THREE Cups! Napoli as well.

Heartbreakingly, in 2015, Juve became the first club to win 10 Coppas.
But because "cheaters" argued with federation about number of League titles (& number of golden stars), when they reached that Coppa milestone, Juventus, out of spite, didn't put a silver star on chest.

Now I expect/ fear that Roma will also disregard silver star if they win their 10th Coppa...
on the 29th August, 2020 at 6:48pm
Anonymous, I don't agree at all.

In 2008, Roma won their NINTH Coppa Italia. One more & they would put a SILVER STAR on their jersey, also being first club in Italy to win 10 cups!
(That silver star would look good next to silver she-wolf.)

But TWELVE YEARS LATER, even when Juve struggled returning from Serie B & Milanese clubs disappeared, even when all the finals were played in Rome, ...Roma still couldn't get another one??

Disgraceful, shameful & pathetic.
on the 29th August, 2020 at 6:01pm

just so you know...
Roma not after coppa, it's not our class :)
Don't compare big team's dream with uninteresting team lol
on the 29th August, 2020 at 5:29am
much as Silva seemed like a great pick up and fit for Lazio he is on the decline and have to wonder is he already planning his retirement after decade at Man City and being a regular with national side hes thinking of a mid level team in still a challenging league and decent salary whilst being home. lazio/fans would of demanded a lot. he knows how italy is and the headaches hed endure. + was asking a bit much for what Lazio spend.
they need a Berardi,Rafinha,Bonaventura for a spark.not GK Pepe.
on the 28th August, 2020 at 8:57pm
Lazio just doesn't look like an attractive package because they're not a top club but they don't accept status as a stepping stone club - which is fine - but they can't have it both ways. They're losing money with every day they don't cash in on SMS. Immobile is a great player but they're not investing in a youth product, they're offering a higher rate of pay to a player who is in his later years. Their squad depth is so bad but they just don't seem to have any ambition in the marke
on the 28th August, 2020 at 4:03pm
@Luca a very good point. Serie teams need to work together to create a winning and attractive brand just like the EPL did. @TheMaster, i accept Napoli spent big but i wouldnt expect to see that year on year, especially if there was no c. league money. the likes of verona, SPAL, Lecce dont have money to spend whereas their equivlent in EPL do so as a whole, Serie needs to generate more revenue, not just individual clubs
on the 28th August, 2020 at 10:39am
I'm pleased Roma fans are content with their lack of presence in FIFA 20 and UEFA coefficient, dont worry about actually winning something...!

Not here to justify Lotito and his tight purse strings but after Juve, Lazio have won the most trophies in the last 10 years in Italy.
on the 28th August, 2020 at 10:22am

You take some things out of context. This goes both ways. 7th place Napoli spends 80 million for Oshimen. How many 7th placed teams in other leagues spend that kind of money? Sure Italian teams don't have the biggest revenue compared to other top leagues, but how much Lazio spends is not a indicator for that. Lotito needs to win the Lotto or something to spend more than 15 million in a transfer market.
on the 28th August, 2020 at 12:48am
(...From previous post)
This means Inter, Lazio, Atalanta will be in 3RD POT.

They'll 90% get a superior team from POT 2 (Barca, City, United, Chelsea, Atletico, Dortmund...)
...& will have to hope for easier draw from POT 1: Avoiding Bayern, Real, PSG, Liverpool; hoping for Sevilla, Zenit, Porto...

I'm really getting annoyed with all the "Milan deserves CL, Milan would win CL" comments.
--At least get out of EL (,Not CL!!!,) GROUP STAGE!
on the 28th August, 2020 at 12:28am
Off topic ('Cause I don't care about Lazio...)

Roma signed exclusive with PES. I dislike FIFA so this is AMAZING news for me.
Coppa71, how you like them apples? :)

If anyone is wondering, these are Serie A club coefficients:

(5.) JUVENTUS 117.000
(17.) ROMA 80.000
(18.) NAPOLI 77.000
(33.) INTER 44.000 (They got 25.000 THIS YEAR!)
(38.) LAZIO 41.000 (4.000 this year, LOL)
(48.) ATALANTA 33.500 (20.000 this year.)
(81.) MILAN 19.000

...So much for who is carrying Italian flag.
on the 27th August, 2020 at 11:41pm
lazio seem to be under such tight financial constraints it seems sightly foolish to sign a mid 30 year old on a high salary. it seemed more of pr move rather than any real move to improve the lazio team. there is a lack of ambition or at least a lack of funding ambition even before ffp lotito showed zero signs of wanting to spend big.

i fully expect lazio to sell a big name player like savic and sign a bunch of lesser known players to fill the void, to be honest it works for lazio.
on the 27th August, 2020 at 9:03pm
@ Anonymous

Yeah I mean you'd like to think Serie A would find a successful formula over 20 years but it seems there's always a ready made excuse as to why they can't generate the same revenues as the EPL. The red tape on building the new stadiums and how long it takes for anything to get approved is excruciating. They could certainly do a lot more to try and catch the Prem
on the 27th August, 2020 at 7:20pm
@Luca, I agree with all your points made and it’s encouraging to see efforts being made. However it feels like we have been mentioning these same efforts for a few years now and with very little to show for it. Besides Juve, inter most other clubs seem to have very little revenue. I would say Serie A started falling behind the EPL in early 2000’s and have done very little to buck that trend since, so almost 2 decades.
on the 27th August, 2020 at 3:26pm
As a LAZIO FAN i don't agree with 18 million on a striker who hasn't played in SERIE A. I would rather get a young striker in any SERIE A club. Loitto needs to remember spend BIG is worth it but only on quality players. Looking forward to new season i want top 4 finish again and good cup run etc
on the 27th August, 2020 at 3:17pm
'Another sign of Lotito’s increased ambition was the acquisition of Pepe Reina.' Surely this was some serious trolling and not an attempt at serious journalism.
on the 27th August, 2020 at 2:51pm
David Silva is 34 years old and is not the same player from his prime years at Manchester City. Still a good not great playmaker and passer he now lacks the speed and stamina of the past. This is actually a good thing for Lazio and appeared to be an unnecessary status signing, The money should be spent on more depth in the midfield and back as the team faded at the end of the season due to fatigue and league schedule. Lotito and Inzaghi can do better bringing in more youthful players.
on the 27th August, 2020 at 2:05pm
The problem Lazio have is that Lotito doesn't like spending money and that's exactly what Lazio need to do. Fares and Muriqi are unproven at the highest level and could well be flops. There are a lot of players available currently who although may be past their prime would be useful to a team like Lazio. They got burned by Silva but what about Vidal, Rakitic, Cavani, Higuain, Suarez, Thiago Silva, Umtiti, Douglas Costa, Rugani etc who are all available and would offer various benefits to the sid
on the 27th August, 2020 at 1:21pm
@ Anonymous

Whilst I take your point I think you'll find Serie A as a whole are certainly concerned about, and therefore trying to increase revenue. They've started playing games around the Christmas period and change kick off times to appease the Asian and American markets, a lot of clubs are trying to build new stadiums with varying success which will increase revenue and the new tax law is favourable to bringing in the best foreign talent improving the quality and marketability of the league
on the 27th August, 2020 at 1:08pm
slightly off topic but relevent to their overall strategy..Vedat [email protected] becoming one of Lazios most expensive signings. that really is a sign of how little money is in SerieA. This is a side that is in contention more or less each season for Champions League/Europa League and 18million is an expensive signing. A championship team in the UK is able spend that!!! How on earth is SerieA as a whole not concerned about this and not doing something to improve the revnenue being generated
on the 27th August, 2020 at 12:06pm
Also Silva had given his word to Lazio, but ultimately it was his wife that really pushed for a move back to Spain. No great loss, he would have been a luxury, but Lazio is all about the team spirit, not individuals. Muriqi, Fares and a couple more good signings will be what we need.
on the 27th August, 2020 at 11:29am
Players turn down big clubs for smaller clubs all the time, there's nothing new in that. It's just most of the time we don't find out about it. The error Lazio made was in 'leaking' to the Italian press that it was a 'done deal' before Silva had signed a contract. That was silly of them. They must've known that such a proven top-quality player would have a number of offers, and that he wasn't necessarily going to be making a decision based purely on financial motives.
on the 27th August, 2020 at 11:26am
The same goes for other clubs. You thesis is based on Silva going back home? It is normal to go back home after ten years spent in England.
on the 27th August, 2020 at 11:00am

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Your data may be made public and you accept our Privacy Policy. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.