Maurizio Sarri appears to have confirmed Lazio are on the verge of bringing Felipe Anderson back to Serie A from West Ham United, hailing an “incredible” talent while talking to Tuttomercatoweb.
One of the worst-kept secrets in European football should be finally confirmed in a matter of days – or maybe hours.
According to Corriere dello Sport, West Ham’s forgotten man is set to take a pay cut to rejoin the club where he played the best football of his career.
What’s more, Lazio are expected to snap up Anderson for as little as £2.5 million.
For the second time in a year, West Ham would make a massive financial loss on a player who set them back more than £30 million.
In January, the Hammers accepted a knock-down £20 million fee for Sebastien Haller 18 months after forking out a club-record £45 million to Eintracht Frankfurt.
And if Anderson can rediscover the sparkling form he showed during his first spell at the Stadio Olimpico – the Brazilian is just 28 and would arrive with a point to prove – this has all the hallmarks of a deal that could go down in history for all the right reasons – for Lazio.
Are West Ham right to get rid of Felipe Anderson?
“If I did not believe in him, I would have opposed his purchase,” Sarri says, hinting at Anderson’s imminent arrival.
“Here, at Lazio, he had an incredible six or seven months. It seemed he was destined for Barcelona (at the time).
“When I was in England (at Chelsea), he had a good first season but he always fails to find continuity. I cannot understand the reason for his inconsistency. I hope to understand him when I meet him.
“He has ferocious potential.”
West Ham will just be happy to get Anderson’s sizeable pay packet off their wage bill having farmed the winger out to Porto for the whole of last season.