Thursday January 22 2015
Lotito not ruling out Balotelli

Lazio President Claudio Lotito has refused to rule out a move for Mario Balotelli - but says he’d have to conform to their standards.

It was reported this week that the Aquile had made a loan offer for the Liverpool forward, and the club patron today refused to deny those rumours.

“Balotelli? There are a lot of rumours,” Lotito admitted in a Press conference to present new signing Mauricio Dos Santos Nascimento.

“When I first came here, people ran away [from Lazio], now a lot of them want to come to Lazio. Whoever wants to join us must respect our standards.”

Lotito also echoed the words of his new signing, insisting the Biancocelesti can finish third and qualify for the Champions League this season.

“I’m not accustomed to making proclamations, it depends on many things, and some unknown factors.

“In the past few games we haven’t gotten what we deserved. Lazio are a team that can compete with anyone.

“The fans are supporting the team, which they didn’t do last year. The club are putting in a lot of effort, we’re growing.

“We want become more and more attractive for players, trying to make up for the budgetary differences between ourselves and other teams.

“We spend around €90m to €100m, for other teams it’s €300m. If we spent that kind of money we’d win it all, and I say that with absolute certainty.”

The Lazio President also slammed UEFA after the club were fined for racist chanting and forced to play behind closed doors after a Europa League match with Tottenham Hotspur last year.

“After Lazio-Tottenham there were accusations of something which I didn’t hear, and which no-one heard except a few inspectors,” Lotito fumed.

“I went to UEFA to discuss the case and they told me that 28 people in a crowd of 45,000 had engaged in racist chanting.

“How can you close the stadium because of the actions of a few individuals? It’s inconceivable.

“There was also the last measure which was adopted by the ministry of the interior which ended up only punishing Lazio.

“The club can’t be held responsible for everyone who claims to be a Lazio fan.

“I support the crackdown, the use of rules that prevent certain things, but they have to crack down on people who commit crimes, not those who have nothing to do with it.”