Lazio are interested in a move for Bournemouth midfielder Jefferson Lerma as a replacement for the injured Lucas Leiva.
That’s according to Il Messaggero, who say the Italian side have identified the Colombian midfielder as a target after the Brazilian was ruled out for the rest of the season after being forced to undergo further surgery on a knee problem.
That has left Lazio with a hole they need to fill in their midfield and Lerma is a candidate.
The newspaper states he has made it clear to Bournemouth he doesn’t want to play in the Championship next season so wants to find himself a new club.
Lazio are keen and could get him on the cheap, with it claimed that ‘there would be an opportunity’ to ‘take him’ for as little as €8m following the Cherries’ relegation.
It’s stated as very much a ‘we will see’ situation at this point but Il Messaggero claim there are reports in Colombia stating the player has ‘sworn to land’ in Italy.
That, though, has proven difficult to verify, with the only reports on Lerma in Colombia coming from AS and Marca, both who cite Il Messaggero as their source.
The only one that didn’t was Gol Caracol and their information was much different to what the Italian newspaper was offering.
First of all, they state that Lazio’s interest comes from Roman radio station Retesport, although we couldn’t find any mention of the Bournemouth man on their website or social media.
Either way, according to Gol Caracol, Bournemouth would only be willing to let Lerma leave if a club offers €25m. There is zero mention of an €8m release clause.
In fact, they’ve spoken to Javier Piquer, who works for Arena Sport Marketing, the company that represents Lerma and he’s given them the impression any deal could be difficult.
The website does not have direct quotes but say he told them that a transfer is ‘not easy’ because Bournemouth ‘expect a definitive sale of the sports rights’ but are also considering the midfielder as a ‘key element’ to help them secure promotion back to the Premier League.
That would suggest any notion of a low release clause may be wide of the mark, although given how much of a mess this rumour already is, it may be worth taking anything with a hefty pinch of salt for the time being.