The Coppa Italia win for Napoli last night meant Lazio will have to qualify for Europa League, so the season will start a little earlier than hoped for this season, just as last season started against Rabotnicki in August. In order to be fully prepared for the coming campaign Lazio must find a replacement for resigned coach Edoardo Reja as soon as possible, and according to Corriere dello Sport Lotito and Tare are now looking closer at three names for the Lazio bench.
Sporting Director Tare spent last week in Munich, where he apart from watching the Champions League final and possible transfer target Contento of Bayern Munich, have talked to Chelsea’s winning coach Roberti Di Matteo. The Swiss born former Lazio and Italian national team player was seen as one of the favourites to take over at Lazio before the Chelsea win on Saturday night, a development that has made it harder for Lazio to sign the Cragnotti era midfielder. Di Matteo is yet to talk to his English club about a future with the Blues, but would the negotiations fail with Chelsea other English sides wait in line for the 41 year old. Liverpool and Aston Villa have already contacted Di Matteo and the decision on where he will go might take more time than Lazio have patience for.
When Reja wanted to resign for the second time, back in February this year, it looked like Lotito had lined up Gianfranco Zola to take over. Also now the Oliena son is one of the more likely candidates for the position, but according to his agent no contact has been made between his client and the club since February. The interest of getting back on track on a managerial career that has been on hold since leaving West Ham in 2010 is definitely there says the agent, but Lazio have to step forward and continue the discussions if hoping for a deal in place soon enough.
Neither of the two managers mentioned above have any previous experience of coaching in Italy and Serie A, something that has given Gian Piero Gasperini the upper hand in the latest media speculations. A veteran compared to his younger competitors, the 54 year old has coached Juventus’ youth team earlier in his career, followed by longer spells at Crotone and Genoa. Having been forced out of the latter in 2010, Gasperini found himself sacked by Inter only shortly after having taken over the Nerazzuri for the 2011/2012 season. After only five games in charge of the team, resulting in four losses and one draw, Gasperini have been without a club and has now openly stated he is eager to back on the sideline.
Sinisa Mihalovic, one of many other names linked to Lazio in recent days, has signed for the Serbian national team and is no longer an option for the Romans. The former Lazio defender was seen in the stands of a couple of Lazio games towards the end of the season and after his sacking from Fiorentina, creating speculations about him being lined up to take over once Reja had ended his time in charge of the Biancocelesti.