Lazio president Claudio Lotito has insisted that midfielder Antonio Candreva is not for sale amid reports linking the Italy international with a summer move to Manchester United, Sky Sports understands.
Candreva, who bagged seven goals and seven assists in 48 appearances in all competitions for the Biancocelesti last season, most recently impressed for Italy at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.
With Thiago Alcantara having decided to join Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, Manchester United have now turned their attention to the likes of Antonio Candreva, Cesc Fabregas and Marouane Fellaini, according to reports.
The Italy international, 26, is extremely versatile — capable of playing anywhere across the midfield — and is also reportedly attracting interest from S.S.C. Napoli.
When asked about Candreva, Lotito said: “He’s not for sale.
“Napoli? They have never called me, but if they do, I’d say he’s not for sale.
“Lazio are the only club who have bought players without selling.
“We wanted to strengthen the team again. I can also say that we have achieved all the market targets we had.”
Over the past four seasons, Candreva has played for six different Serie A clubs, including Juventus, Livorno, Parma, Udinese, Cesena and Lazio.
El Shaarawy staying put
AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has revealed Stephan El Shaarawy has rejected an advantageous offer from an unnamed English Premier League club to stay at the San Siro, according to ESPN.
El Shaarawy, 20, has been the subject of interest from Chelsea and Manchester City after a sensational 2012/13 season with the Rossoneri.
Earlier this month, an unnamed English club offered Milan €30 million for the Italy international, but Galliani is determined to keep the 20-year-old ace to play alongside — or, more likely, in support of — Mario Balotelli next season.
“What we hadn’t told anyone was that we received a very big offer for El Shaarawy, but I will never name the club involved,” said Galliani. “It is a very important club, though.
“I informed the player’s agent and as soon as he returned from the Confederations Cup I spoke to Stephan. We did not want to sell him, so we simply informed the lad and his family that this proposal had arrived for him.
“I asked him what he wanted to do. He said the money he had was more than sufficient, that he is a Milan fan and did not want to leave. I kissed him on the cheek and that was that.”
El Shaarawy, whose current contract expires in the summer of 2018, tallied 19 goals and six assists in 46 competitive appearances for Milan last term.