Transfer News

Lotito: ‘Balde Keita only wants Juventus’

August 19, 2017 - 9:01 am

Lazio President Claudio Lotito confirms that the club have received multiple bids for Balde Keita but the player only wants Juventus.

The Senegalese striker is currently out of the squad having refused to attend training sessions and was subsequently dropped for the Supercoppa victory over Juventus.

Lotito has revealed that there have been a number of proposals for the player, however his heart is set on Turin.

“First things first, it’s not true that we have not proposed a new contract to Keita,” Lotito told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We met twice with his agent Roberto Calenda and Keita’s brother was present too. We offered him the same wages as Miroslav Klose, the highest-paid player under my tenure. The response was that the lad wanted to leave Lazio.

“There were three formal offers, all of them I can prove with documentation. Milan would’ve given us €35m, West Ham €32m and Napoli €30m.

“Keita and his agent replied they were not interested in any of the three, that the destination they wanted was Juventus. The player confirmed it to me in the pre-season training camp.

“The Bianconeri consider €15m to be a suitable offer, but I cannot sell a player for half of the lowest other offer I received. If I got proposals worth €30m, why should I sell him for half that?

“You tell me his contract is running down and I risk losing him for nothing if I don’t accept? Well I say that is extortion and practically qualifies as a crime.

“We will evaluate taking legal action. A contract must be respected and not just if a player doesn’t get game time. It’s also false to say that he was dropped because of a club diktat, as it was purely Simone Inzaghi’s choice.

“They tell me that in the locker room the player confessed he didn’t feel up to playing, then seemed below par in the training session. What a coincidence, he was going to play against Juve…

“Inzaghi will decide whether to use Keita or not this season. As for his contract running down, zero patience. It is more important to respect the rules.”

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  • Avatar
    Moderator August 19, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Speaks volumes that the young man only wants Juve – We have to push to get him, he’d be a great talent to have, given Mandzukic is nearing the end of his playing days and Higuain has no one to rotate with up front, bar Kean, who may go on loan anyway.
    Splash the cash Beppe, Keita is a talent

    • Avatar
      Jas August 19, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      Completely agree, this is what we need. Players that absolutely love the shirt and club, also Keita is an upgrade over cuadrado and mandzukic. To be fair he had a better season last year than bernandeschi, really hoping beppe wraps this up.

  • Avatar
    Shanks August 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    30-40 mil for Balde will prove to be a steal due to his versatility. Let’s get this done!