Lazio President Claudio Lotito said selling Hernanes to Inter was “a masterstroke” and slammed the old transfer costs.
The Brazilian midfielder made the transfer for a reported €18m plus bonuses in January 2014.
“After realising the situation, I called his agent and talked to him after the game with Napoli,” Lotito told students at the European University in Rome.
“Not much time had gone by when the agent called back and said he wanted to leave. I got €20m out of it and would’ve lost him for free at the end of the season. It was a real masterstroke.
“We are signing up young players who over the years can increase the value of our club. The examples clear for all to see are Keita Balde Diao and Felipe Anderson.
“There were people here before me who would spend €90m on Gaizka Mendieta without ascertaining the real quality of the player. These things never happened with me.
“When it came to players, I always made choices. They must provide morality and economic compatibility.
“Miroslav Klose? When someone arrives like the German who earns €4m per season, you need to create something different. That’s why we thought up so many initiatives to increase the sense of belonging to our club colours.”