Lazio reject talk of €60m Felipe Anderson move to Man Utd
Lazio have issued a statement denying reports that their president Claudio Lotito was overheard suggesting he had ‘already sold’ the club’s attacking midfielder Felipe Anderson to Manchester United for €60m.
United have been heavily linked with a move for Anderson over the last year and Lazio confirmed that they rejected offers from the Old Trafford club to sign the 22-year-old Brazilian last summer.
Yet it appeared as if negotiations over Anderson have moved forward dramatically, when Lotito was reported to have made these comments at a press briefing.
“I signed Felipe Anderson for €8m and have already re-sold him for €60m,” Lotito reportedly said. “Next year he’ll go to Manchester United.”
Lotito’s comments were apparently overheard by journalists as he spoke off camera at a press conference and yet Lazio have been quick to dismiss the claims.
“In reference to statements attributed to president Claudio Lotito regarding the alleged sale of Felipe Anderson, Lazio can confirm they are devoid of any foundation,” they stated.
While suggestions that a deal has been done for United to sign Anderson may be misplaced, channels of communications between Lazio and United over a possible deal for the player appear to remain open.
Lazio's sporting director Igli Tare has gone on the record over his club’s decision to reject a €50m from United for Anderson last summer, with the player’s form taking a dip in the months since as he has been criticised by his club’s supporters.
“We have to make a complete analysis when making decisions, both on an economic and sporting level,” he told reporters last month.
“I have seen the transfer activity at other clubs, where they decided to sell some of their valuable assets. It happened at Juventus, at Roma, at Inter Milan and at Napoli. They’re examples for us.
“The idea behind our decision not to take €50million for Felipe Anderson was because we wanted to continue our project with the same group after a good season. If you make it into the Champions League, your players are worth even more.”
Tare also defended the Brazilian's uncertain form in recent months as he stated: “Felipe Anderson is still young, this is his third season at Lazio and everyone knows him by now,” added Tare.
“Opponents have been studying his movements and put more effort into blocking him off. He has quality beyond the norm and needs just a little step up to grow.”