Lazio chief on ‘war of attrition’ over Tottenham target

Matt Stead

Lazio sporting director Igli Tare admits there is a “war of attrition” over the future of striker Keita Balde.

Balde has emerged as a target for a number of leading clubs this summer, including Tottenham and Inter Milan.

The 22-year-old is determined to leave the club this summer after being left out of their squad for the Italian Super Cup earlier this month.

He has one year remaining on his current contract, and certainly fits the bill for Tottenham.

“He’s a Lazio player. There are important European and non-European teams that want him,” Tare told Sky Sport Italia.

“But at the moment, there’s a war of attrition, especially on his agent’s part.

“Still, we have so much confidence and patience. Every decision will be made for everyone’s benefit, including the player, because no-one comes out of this as the winner.

“Therefore, I’m using common sense. I hope to find a solution, not only for the player but also Lazio.

“We mustn’t forget that Keita’s a player who came to Italy when he was 15 and our club have given him so much. I think he must take that into account and be grateful.

“At the same time, we’re also aware that he’s grown a lot and he has high expectations, but a solution must be found for the good of everyone.

“If he wants to extend his contract, he knows what the club want to do. But at the same time, if there are deals that satisfy Lazio, we’re willing to take them into consideration.”