Lazio sporting director Igli Tare has said he has no respect for David Silva as a man after his decision to snub the club in favour of a move to Real Sociedad. The Spaniard had been on the brink of a free transfer to Lazio but the Serie A side have been left angered after Silva neglected to tell them he had rejected their contract offer before securing a return to Spain.
The Italian outfit published a 21-word statement on their club website on Tuesday in which Tare did not hold back in his criticism of the former Manchester City playmaker. “I learn about David Silva’s transfer to Real Sociedad. I have great respect for the player, but not for the man,” said Tare.
Italian media reported that Lazio had offered Silva a three-year contract worth 10 million euros ($11.94 million) and the Serie A club were confident of signing the 34-year-old free agent after he left Manchester City this month. However, Silva opted to join Sociedad instead, signing a two-year deal on Monday to return to Spain where he had previously played for Valencia.
Silva’s father Fernando Jimenez defended the midfielder, saying that Lazio had only spoken to his agent and the former Spain international had not committed to moving to Italy. “There were conversations with Lazio, just like there were with Real Sociedad or other teams. There was nothing finalised. David has been left surprised by their reaction. People can say what they like but Lazio spoke with his agent and not with David.”
Silva, 34, officially left Manchester City on Monday after 10 years at the club, a period that marked him out as arguably their greatest player. The playmaker had confirmed last year that he planned to depart in 2020 at the end of his contract, though there had generally been little speculation as to where he might end up next.