If you believe what the Italian press are saying today, whomever is in charge of Man United at the start of next year will have €60 million worth of a Brazilian playmaker to build a team around.
The Old Trafford club had been linked with a €50 million move for Lazio's Felipe Anderson last summer but, despite much speculation, the transfer never came to pass and the 22 year old remained in Rome. However, a deal may already have been agreed for this coming summer with the Italian press abuzz with tidbits from the mouth of Lazio owner Claudio Lotito.
After speaking to reporters following Salernitana's (his other club) 1-1 draw with Crotone in Serie B, Lotito is reported to have turned to have been speaking to several dignitaries and, in earshot of the reporters is reported to have said;
I signed Felipe Anderson for €8m and have already re-sold him for €60m. Next year he’ll go to Manchester United.
Lazio have not been as impressive as they were last term but Anderson has nonetheless chipped in with six goals but despite what their president is reported to have been saying, Lazio are sticking to the line that nothing has been agreed with Man United or anyone else for that matter.
In response to today's reports, Lazio have released the following statement.
In reference to statements attributed to President Claudio Lotito regarding the alleged sale of the player Felipe Anderson, S.S. Lazio have noted that these are devoid of any foundation.
It must be said that whatever about saving face and ensuring their players are fully on board through to the end of the season, if Lazio really have agreed a deal with United to the tune of €60 million then Lotito has every reason to go around running his mouth off.
He may well be a cracking young player but that is certainly an extreme amount of money for a player who has a single cap for his country. Granted, when it comes to Brazil, that's not an entirely fair judge of a player but nonetheless it does indicate that despite the outlay, it's still very much signing potential as opposed to proven ability at the highest level.