Lotito keen on title challenge

As Lazio prepare to face Atalanta, Claudio Lotito says he feels the current squad can challenge for the title.

Last Updated: 12/01/13 at 11:01

Vladimir Petkovic's men are five points adrift of Juve

Vladimir Petkovic's men are five points adrift of Juve

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Lazio president Claudio Lotito feels the current squad at the Stadio Olimpico has what it takes to successfully challenge Juventus for the Serie A title.

Vladimir Petkovic's workmanlike side, peppered with the outstanding individual talents of Miroslav Klose and Hernanes, has closed to within five points of league leaders Juve on the back of a run of six wins from eight games.

Reports in Italy have linked the Biancocelesti with moves for Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard and Casemiro of Sao Paolo but Lotito is unwilling to risk either financial security or team spirit in the pursuit of the Scudetto.

He told La Repubblica: "There are a lot of names flying around at the moment but we know we have a squad that can compete with anybody.

"That has been proven with the results and by the quality of football on display.

"The addition of any players is both a footballing and a financial issue. Nowadays our dressing room is balanced and we do not want to affect the atmosphere we have created."

Defender Modibo Diakite is expected to leave the club in January, though, having rejected an improved contract offer to stay in Rome.

"Diakite? We are are not worried, we did what we had to do by offering him a contract," Lotito added. "He did not accept it and is in talks with other teams, so it looks like he's made his mind up over his future."

Atalanta director of sport Pierpaolo Marino is similarly unmoved by the transfer window, suggesting that competitive football should be put on hold while clubs reorganise their playing staff.

"Serie A should take Serie B's lead in stopping during the winter transfer window," he told La Repubblica. "It is very difficult to conduct negotiations while you are playing games.

"Everybody's talking about everybody else - it's an abomination."

Meanwhile, Thomas Manfredini has left Bergamo to join Genoa, with fellow defender Ezequiel Schelotto reportedly interesting Inter Milan.

Marino added: "(Manfredini) wanted to leave and we were forced to let him go because we could not match the Rossoblu's offer.

"(Schelotto) has never asked for a transfer, even though I cannot guarantee that he will stay. There have been offers for him but so far we have not entered into any negotiations."

Gian Bellini, Daniele Capelli, Guido Marilungo and Stefano Lucchini are unlikely to play any part at the Stadio Olimpico as Atalanta bid for their first away win over Lazio since April 2009, having failed to score past the Biancocelesti in three of the last four meetings between the two clubs.

Midfielder Ederson and defender Marius Stankevicius are Petkovic's only injury concerns.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Serie A Fixtures

Saturday, 30 May 2015
17:00
Verona v Juventus  
19:45
Atalanta v AC Milan  
Sunday, 31 May 2015
17:00
Cagliari v Udinese  
19:45
Fiorentina v Chievo  
Inter v Empoli  
Napoli v Lazio  
Roma v Palermo  
Sampdoria v Parma  
Sassuolo v Genoa  
Torino v Cesena  

Footer 365

Hull Abel Hernandez accepts FA charge and ban

Hull's Abel Hernandez will miss the first three games on the 2015/16 Championship season after accepting FA charge.

Ashely Young: Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal reignited my love for football

Ashley Young has praised Louis van Gaal, stating the Manchester United manager reignited his love for football.

Sepp Blatter: Tiny minority to blame for FIFA crisis

Sepp Blatter has told FIFA's annual congress he had no way of monitoring "a tiny minority" of officials accused of corruption.

Mail Box

What Is It That FIFA Actually Do?

That's the question raised timidly by someone sat at the back of the room, whilst others remind that UEFA aren't perfect either. Plus a few more gone on to better XIs...

Time To Step Up, Mr Platini...

UEFA should step up and extend the Euros to replace FIFA's tarnished World Cup, say a couple of mailboxers. Also: all hail Carlo, King of the Kop, and plenty more Budget XIs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company