Luiz Felipe: “Barcelona’s Interest Makes Me Happy But…”
Lazio defender Luiz Felipe has well and truly flourished in recent seasons, developing rapidly under head coach Simone Inzaghi and, in the process, becoming an integral part of the Biancocelesti defense. The Brazilian has impressed so much that transfer rumors have emerged linking the defender to both FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich but it appears, at least for the meantime, that his future is tied to Lazio; the Biancocelesti currently working on a rumored new contract.
Speaking to Brazilian outlet UOL, the Lazio defender discussed the interest from La Liga giants Barcelona:
“Of course it makes me happy because it means that the job is being done well and that big clubs are watching. But anyone who knows me knows that I’m a quiet guy and I’m not excited about it. I need to stay focused and keep thinking about doing my best for Lazio, who have trusted me and have given me support from my first day.”
Luiz Felipe, 23, joined Lazio from Brazilian Serie D outfit Ituano in 2016, before being sent out on loan to Lazio’s feeder club Salernitana for the 2016/17 Serie B season. Since returning from that loan spell, the defender has played over 20 games in all competitions in each season for the Biancocelesti first team, starring in a total of 54 Serie A matches and 78 games in all competitions. Despite being yet to feature for the Brazilian national team, Luiz Felipe has 2 caps for the Brazil U23 side and last year rejected a call-up to the Italian U21 national team, telling head coach Luigi Di Biagio that he wished to play for Brazil, rather than Italy.
With the defender looking set to stay in Rome, Claudio Lotito and Igli Tare will be rushing to reward him with a new contract, in the aim of tying him down to a more long-term place at the club, given that Simone Inzaghi considers him an important building block for the squad’s future.