Candreva is set to sign a new contract with Lazio
Arsenal’s pursuit of Italy midfielder Antonio Candreva has officially been put to rest as he has signed a 5-year contract extension at SS Lazio, which will keep him at the capital club till 2019.
The Gunners had been in the queue with a host of other clubs, including Liverpool, who were interested in capturing the 27 year-old from Italy, following an impressive two year stint at Lazio, followed up with a good shift at the World Cup for the Azurri. Candreva was especially brilliant in the opening group game at Manaus against England, setting up Mario Balotelli for the Italian’s first goal of the game with a delicious cross after good feet to keep out Leighton Baines. Though the Italians eventually crashed out with England from the group, Candreva continued to be significantly threatening in the other games, catching the attention of a good number of Premier League sides.
All that aspiration is now over as the spate of contract renewals in Lazio which saw offers of new deals and extensions to first team players, including Nigerian Midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, included sealing of further ties with Candreva. In fact, he seem to have been the prime figure in the whole process especially with the threats of the likes of Arsenal lurking around. Candreva himself seem to have been satisfied with the new development, stating that the (club) President “kept his word”.
The Italian, who is also called ‘Il Timido’ (“The shy one”), has had something of a journey through a number of Serie A clubs since he made his debut for Ternana a decade ago. He’s since gone from making 3 appearances for Udinese in 5 years, within which period he went to Livorno, Juventus, Parma and Cesena on loan. He finally found a home in Lazio where he has now steadied himself, developing into one of Serie A’s most foremost attacking midfielders.
Lacazette is set to extend his stay at Olympique Lyonnais
In a related development, Arsenal and Liverpool were also dealt another transfer blow as Olympique Lyonnais ace forward, Alexandre Lacazette is set to extend his stay at the French side. The explosive 23-year old star, who wears the Number 10 jersey for Lyon and is now a French International, had been courted by Wenger for the major part of this year with the expectation that he will be enticed to come over to the Emirates this summer. A summer deal did not materialize but January was still seen as a possibility. All hopes of that is all but lost as Lyon are set to retain their latest superstar in their bid to fire their way this season to the Champions League places. Lacazette was their top scorer last season, and he has been quoted as saying that the desire to surpass Zlatan Ibrahimovich as the League’s most prolific goal banger inspires his decision to stay on at Lyon.
The failure to acquire any of Antonio or Alexandre means Wenger will now have to look elsewhere for other options to fire up his attack, having also lost out to Atletico Madrid earlier in the chase for both Antoine Greizmann and Alessio Cerci.
(What’s with him and A-named players anyway?)
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