Tuesday Jul 25, 2017  
     
 
  12/08/2014: Ciani out, Stankovic in?
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Lazio have been heavily linked with Serbian 26 year-old centre-back Vojislav Stankovic. Sky Sports claimed yesterday that the Partizan Belgrade defender was on Lazio's radar and was available for a low sum as the Serbian club look to cash in on the player before his contract expires at the end of the year.

The player's agent, Duasn Milojevic, has since told Sky that Lazio have indeed made an offer but it is short of Partizan's 600,000 euro asking price. The agent has called on Partizan to accept Lazio's offer, despite claiming that there is interest in his client from a whole host of clubs on the continent.

Lazio's move for Stankovic is curious given the heightened expectations that exist for a new centre-back following the arrival of Stefan de Vrij from Feyenoord. It is possible, however, that the club could cash in on Michael Ciani.

As LazioLand.com reported this weekend, Ciani has told the media he wishes to stay at Lazio, but he has only one year remaining on his current deal and there is no talk of a contract extension.

Ciani has his suitors in England with Crystal Palace, Norwich and Cardiff City all linked with the player in recent times. His former club, Bordeaux, is also a potential destination but most recently, RC Lens has emerged as a possible contender for his signature.

Rumours suggest Lens could offer as much as 2 million euro. The club's owner Hafiz Mammadov - an Azerbaijani businessman who owns two other clubs and has a shareholding in Atletico Madrid and Porto - is under pressure as Lens were very nearly kicked out of Ligue 1 for financial irregularities. This has prompted fans of Lens to initiate a Twitter campaign asking Rihanna to take over the club and Mammadov will have to go some way to convince fans he can take them forward.

Ciani is well-regarded in his homeland and he would be seen as a coup for the newly-promoted French outfit.

To confuse matters further,
Sky Italia claim Diego Novaretti is on Club Leon's shortlist to replace Rafael Marquez who joined Hellas Verona last week having been heavily linked with a move to Lazio. It appears, however, that Novaretti is further up manager Pioli's pecking order and would command a smaller fee despite having a longer contract than Ciani, making any sale of the Argentine a less lucrative option for Lazio.
Author: Cathal Mullan
 
 
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