Reja takes Lazio training ahead of return
Edoardo Reja took charge of his first training session as coach of Lazio on Monday, even though he has yet to be officially appointed, and with Vladimir Petkovic's future unresolved.
Reja is understood to have agreed on a contract until 2015 but Petkovic, who has announced he will be taking over as boss of the Switzerland national team after the World Cup, is still contracted to the Serie A club until July.
Reja led the squad in training under pouring rain at the club's Formello sports centre, preparing the team for the clash with Inter Milan next Monday. He, along with his trusted assistant Alberto Bollini, coached Lazio until being replaced by Petkovic in 2012.
According to reports in Italy, Reja cannot officially be named as the club's new coach due to a legal wrangle with Petkovic. The Serie A club are trying to find out whether the Bosnian breached his contract by agreeing terms with Switzerland to replace Ottmar Hitzfeld.
Until that issue is resolved -- and it might not be until after the Inter encounter -- Reja has been placed in charge of first-team affairs with Petkovic not showing up for the restart of training after the festive period.
Reja led Lazio into the Europa League in consecutive seasons in his previous two-season spell in charge, although differences with club president Claudio Lotito led to him tendering his resignation twice before leaving at the end of the 2011-12 campaign.
He assumes charge of a side currently 11 points behind fifth-placed Inter in search of a fourth straight qualification for Europe. They face Parma in the last-16 of the Coppa Italia with a defence of the title they won with victory over Roma last June offering the likeliest route back into Europe.