Lazio President allegedly 'reveals' Manchester United have signed Felipe Anderson for next season
Manchester United have completed a deal to sign Felipe Anderson from Lazio, according to the Italian club’s president. The Brazilian is expected to join the Red Devils in the summer, completing a move for €60 million that had been in the offing since a long time, according to Claudio Lolito, Lazio’s club president.
According to Calciomercato, Lolito made the startling revelation in the oddest of locales, speaking ahead of a Serie B encounter between Salterniata and Crotone. Lolito was attending the pre-match press conference in his position as chairman of Salterniatia, but instead of sharing squad news, blurted out the transfer deal to local journalists and the Crotone sporting director and president.
The Italian gave the journalists the shock of their lives, when he said, “Felipe Anderson will move to Manchester United next season, for €60 million (£47million). I bought Felipe Anderson for €8 million, and I’ve already sold him on for €60 million.”
Update: Lazio have released a statement denying the quotes, saying “In reference to statements attributed to President Claudio Lotito regarding the alleged sale of the player Felipe Anderson, S.S. Lazio notes that these reports are devoid of any foundation.”
Louis van Gaal is keen on purchasing the midfielder on the advice of his chief opposition scout, Marcel Bout, who rates the Brazilian highly. Anderson has struggled to find consistency for Lazio in his time at the Olimpico so far, scoring 7 goals and making 4 assists in 34 appearances for the Biancocelesti, after scoring 11 and assisting 10 last season.
Anderson constantly linked with United in the past
Despite his struggles for consistency, the Lazio fans have warmed to the diminutive Brazilian, nicknaming him O rato de Roma (The mouse of Rome), on account of his dribbling skills that have seen him evade many a Serie A defender. As such, Lazio weren’t keen to let him go, despite big money offers from United in the past.
Earlier, Lazio’s sporting director, Igli Tare had revealed that the Biancocelesti had turned down a staggering big-money offer from Manchester United, saying “"We turned down a €50m offer from Manchester United on Aug. 27 and nothing has changed since then, because if he finds consistency, then he's worth much more. We also resisted bigger offers than that, but we have targets to achieve.”
Anderson, for his part, remained clueless about his future in January, saying “My future? I don't know if I'll stay in January, I'm focused only on my work because I don't live a good moment. I don't know what happens.”
However, with Lolito having spilled the beans, the Old Trafford faithful can hope that Anderson will light up the pitch for the Red Devils next season, although whether that will be under the management of Jose Mourinho or Louis van Gaal remains to be seen.