It looks set to be a big summer on the sky blue side of the Stadio Olimpico, with as many as six Lazio senior players out of contract in June.
2022/23 will be an intriguing season; Europe’s top leagues are set for a winter break to accommodate the Qatar World Cup, which online bookmakers are offering free bets on, conveniently compiled for you by Oddschecker.
Maurizio Sarri has a rebuilding job on his hands if he is to get the Biancocelesti competing for honours on both the domestic and European fronts. His side looks set to qualify for the Europa League, requiring just three points from their last two games to seal their place in next year’s competition.
The first thing Sarri will have to decide on is what to do in the goalkeeping department. Both Thomas Strakosha’s and Pepe Reina’s deals are expiring next month.
It seemed set in stone that Strakosha was going to be released after falling behind Reina in the pecking order, however, calciomercato.com recently reported that club officials may be considering a U-turn thanks to his impressive end of season form.
It also wouldn’t be surprising to see Spaniard Reina’s contract renewed. Despite the fact that the veteran shot-stopper will be 40 when the new Serie A season starts, the former Liverpool man could provide to be a valuable understudy to the number one, as well as being a great presence around the dressing room.
Another position Sarri will have to pay close attention to is at centre back. Stefan Radu, Patric and Luiz Felipe are all set to become free agents on June 30th, and it’s a position that has looked weak for the Biancocelesti all season long. Luiz Felipe, who on paper appears to be the best of the three, appears set to be joining Copa Del Rey winners Real Betis, so even if Sarri wants to keep the Brazilian at the Stadio Olimpico, it may not be possible.
Another veteran, 35-year-old Lucas Leiva, also looks set to leave Lazio in the summer. Despite regaining his place in Sarri’s starting eleven in February, and featuring all but three times this season, it doesn’t seem that the holding midfielder will be offered a new deal. The Rome-based club employed a similar policy with ageing veterans Miroslav Klose and Marco Parolo in years gone by, and it looks like Lucas’ time in the Italian capital may well be over.