Lazio sporting director Igli Tare has admitted that they should have sold Brazilian forward Felipe Anderson to Manchester United when they had the chance.
The Red Devils reportedly made a £37.6m bid for Anderson last summer, which was rejected as Lazio showed the ambition to build on their third-place Serie A finish.
But the Rome club are currently seventh in the table and way off the pace in the race for Champions League qualification, leading Tare to admit their mistake.
He also defended the decision not to sell – but suggested that Lazio might be stronger had they used the Anderson money to bolster the squad with several additions.
“Yes, it could’ve been a mistake not to sell anyone, but I can say that the idea to refuse €50m (£37.6m) for Felipe Anderson was because we strongly wanted to give consistency to this project,” Tare told Corriere dello Sport, via the Daily Star.
“The top three is a possibility. Last year we showed that by focusing on clear ideas and a clear project. “It’s true that turnover counts for a lot, but the conviction to be on the right path also counts, even at times when the results don’t arrive.
“The most important thing is to bring Lazio to that level. The Napoli side of a few years ago is a good example for me.“
Selling a star player and using the funds for a squad overhaul did not work with Tottenham Hotspur and Gareth Bale – at least not immediately – or Liverpool and Luis Suarez.
So, there is no guarantee that Lazio would be better off without Anderson, who has scored six goals this season. Man United might give them a second chance to make that decision in the summer.
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