Maurizio Sarri spoke openly about a number of topics, ranging from his future and various offers from Saudi Arabia to the work of Lazio’s rivals in the transfer market.
The Italian tactician did well in his second season with the Biancocelesti, guiding the team back to the Champions League with an impressive second place finish.
Lazio are now working to bring in a handful of reinforcements to allow Sarri to compete on multiple fronts next season, giving him more reliable rotation options.
Speaking to Alfredo Pedulla, Sarri first discussed if he liked having a more involved role in the transfer market.
No, I left England asking to be released when I was at Chelsea because I didn’t want to do that and there was a club there without a sporting director, so I was getting too involved in things I don’t like, taking too much energy away from the pitch.
He looked ahead to Lazio’s schedule for the upcoming 2023-24 season.
It’s a good thing we came second. If we had finished eighth, they would have made us play as an exception in Madrid against Real.
The schedule is tough as far as we are concerned, I have only had a superficial look at it yet. Tough because in the first seven/eight games we face four big teams.
We are also a big team so is it better earlier than later? I don’t know, we came second because we did well, but we also can’t deny that we went on the wave of teams that did less than they could do.
The Italian coach touched on his expectations for the coming year.
If I had to talk to you from a selfish point of view, I would be second at Lazio and resign. Do better? I’ve thought about it but I’m in an environment where I feel good and I’d like to move forward, but you have to be aware and repeat that it will be extremely difficult.
Our goal is to stay in the Champions League and so we have to have our heads in the top four, but with the awareness that it’s extremely difficult.
Sarri was asked about Inter’s strengths following their recent transfer market business.
I saw Inter ahead of the others even last year, then Napoli did a masterpiece with a season that cut the legs off everyone. But I honestly see Inter’s midfield as one of the strongest in Europe not Italy.
With Frattesi and Barella a further leap in quality? You lose an important player like Brozovic, but they remain one of the strongest midfields in Europe.
He gave his thoughts on the recent spending from the Saudi Pro League.
I honestly received a few offers. For the moment I’m doing well at Lazio, so it’s pointless talking about money, then if in a few years I’m no longer doing well here, or my contract runs out something for a year or two can be considered.
At the moment it’s fine, I’m a two-hour drive from home so I have no motivation to consider these offers.
Koulibaly? It’s difficult to get into people’s interests. From what I’ve read he gets €90 million in three years, so it’s something he has to consider, he’s going to provide for his family for three generations.
The Lazio coach was asked about his recent comments that he’d be looking to retire in the near future.
But it’s clear that today’s football brings you more stress than before, to work in a different way, plus I personally enjoy it a little less than before.
When you no longer work on the pitch you run out of motivation to do this job, if I have to be a TV director and work on the same film for hours the job becomes different.
Are they playing practically all the time next year? Yes, they are making people bored and in a few years they will watch less football.
In England they get six times what we get in Italy for the TV rights and the matches on Saturday afternoons Sky in England cannot broadcast them, we make other choices and make do with the crumbs.
Because they charge six or seven times what we charge. Great facilities, extraordinary mentality and the games played there look better regardless. We took the wrong path 20 years ago.
He reflected on his initial arrival at Lazio and his Roma counterpart Jose Mourinho.
It’s difficult to arrive in a new environment and after a few days feel accepted and at home, this makes you attached to the whole environment and the fans.
There’s an idea around Italy that doesn’t correspond to reality, the Lazio fans are great and polite at least in their relations with us.
This made me feel at home and this complete autonomy gave me the enthusiasm to work on the field.
As for Roma, they were already a great team in previous years, they spent a lot of energy in Europe and did less in the league, but the strength of the team was evident.
He touched on the rivalry with the Giallorossi coach.
There is one, but I personally don’t feel it, Mourinho is an intelligent person. In a Chelsea- Manchester United something happened that he could have taken advantage of and he didn’t so I have a lot of respect for him. He has shown himself to be a man.
Sarri spoke about his relationship with Lazio president Claudio Lotito.
It depends, at times when he has less political commitments I hear from him often, at times when, like in the last period, he has to put together political parties and meetings for TV rights I hear from him less. I trust all the staff, but we are a club where the figure of the president is important.
He touched on the qualities of Sassuolo winger Domenico Berardi.
Berardi is a Sassuolo player, but he is one of the players I would like to coach, as there are many others, from Sassuolo there are many, for example Frattesi or Maxime Lopez who is a player who intrigues me.
They’ve always been a team whose philosophy has had two or three players I like. At Lazio? I have to back out because Berardi is a Sassuolo player, and I have respect for the club.
The Lazio coach weighed in on the Sergej Milinkovic-Savic situation.
It is a problem for the club, for me he could be an asset, then it all depends on how involved the boy is in the situation. Milinkovic-Savic with a clear head is a player of an extraordinary level.
We are talking about an extraordinary player, who now has a contractual affair, and I don’t know what consequences it could bring, but it is a problem for the club and a technical resource.
He touched on the qualities needed in a new striker.
It depends on the situations that are developing, if we need to keep Felipe always as a wide forward it is clear that a more ready player must arrive.
If we have wide forward in good numbers, we can take a youngster to bring up and in the meantime use Felipe as a central striker, he has done quite well.
These are situations that have to be seen as a whole on the basis of the squad that is coming up.
Finally, Sarri gave his thoughts on Galatasaray’s Lucas Torreira and Torino’s Samuele Ricci.
He is a player I saw very well at Samp and Fiorentina, he is a player who was doing well in Italy. Is Samuele Ricci of Torino the man going forward?
Honestly, I think so, the experience at Torino made him grow from a character and aggressiveness point of view, I think he could have a future in the national team.