Just before the Christmas holidays the Swiss FA communicated that current Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic has agreed a contract with the Swiss national team. A contract which would see the Bosnian born tactician have a new employer from July 1 2014.
Since then two separate issues have been discussed frequently in media. Firstly, will Lotito take Petkovic to court over a potential breaching of contract? And secondly, who will be managing the team from now on? According to Petkovic himself he has no intentions of leaving the bench voluntarily before his contract with Lazio runs out in the summer.
According to Repubblica.it Lotito stated that a decision would be taken when the club patron, a firm Catholic who does not think decisions of this sort should be taken during the Christmas festivities, resumes work on Thursday. Thursday is now here and as there are no concrete statements from the club, media take charge and discuss matters based on potential developments.
Ilmessagero.it today writes that Lotito is looking into bringing the case to court. The fact that Petkovic and the Swiss FA have signed a contract and communicated this officially would be enough to force Petovic out from the club without being paid the remaining part of his contract, rumoured to be €400.000, Lotito seems to believe. Petkovic, on the other hand, does not see the problem of maintaining his position.
Lotito has made it clear in earlier comments to media that he sees it as no alternative to continue with Petkovic. According to different sources the plan has been to replace Petkovic with Murat Yakin, current coach of Basel, in the summer. The latter has asked to leave Basel as early as now, but his request has been denied if Swiss media sites are to be trusted.
With many unclear details in the mix, it is hard to foresee how things will develop. The training resumes on December 30 and less than a week later Inter will be visiting Stadio Olimpico in a game as crucial as any in an already damaged Lazio season.
A number of names are being mentioned as possibly taking over once Lotito has decided to show Petkovic the door. In pole position an old Lazio coach is found: Edoardo Reja. Having been without a club since not been given a contract extension by Lotito and Tare as Petkovic took over the bench, he should be ready to come in and take charge straight away. He knows many of the players and knows how the atmosphere in Rome and the club functions.
Added to Reja we find Giovanni Trappatoni. Lotito is said to have contacted the previous Republic of Ireland coach and currently without a job, Trappatoni is the coach that will take over if he wants to agree on a six month contract with Lazio.
One new name has been added today; Roberto Di Matteo. With close to 100 games in the Lazio shirt during the mid 90’s he surely knows the city and Italian football. Ilmessagero.it claims Lotito has spoken to Di Matteo repeatedly over the last few days and is awaiting a response from the ex-Chelsea coach. Since being booted out of the London club despite winning the Champions League. One big obstacle for Di Matteo agreeing to join Lazio would be the salary. Since Abramovich decided to part with the tactician he has been paid a rumoured £130.000 per week, which he is entitled to until June 2014 if not signing a new contract. Also, it is hard to see a young manager like Di Matteo agreeing to sign a deal for only six months, if not given the option to extend if things would work out well.
Stay tuned on Lazioland.com and you will surely get the very latest developments on this story as well as many other. If you have not already joined our forum make sure to sign up as a lot of interesting debates are ongoing there, just as always.