Transfer talk

Napoli chief mocks Lavezzi link

June 29, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has laughed off reports that Manchester City are interested in signing Argentina forward Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Ezequiel Lavezzi helped guide Napoli into next season's Champions League.
GettyImagesEzequiel Lavezzi helped guide Napoli into the Champions League.

City manager Roberto Mancini is looking to strengthen his attacking line for next season and expressed his admiration for Lavezzi, although he added that the asking price was a bit too steep.

"I have three attackers, but we do need another one," Mancini said. "Could that be Napoli's Ezequiel Lavezzi? I like him a lot, but I don't believe he is worth his €30m release fee."

Napoli chief De Laurentiis does not want to lose his 26-year-old star, who finished the season with 12 assists and six goals to help the Azzurri secure a Champions League qualifying place.

De Laurentiis told Corriere dello Sport: "We all have the money but we are here and no one has called us. Hence, this story makes me laugh. My dear Mancini, I am sorry for you.

"Evidently, you anticipate moves of the (City owner) Sheikh (Mansour) that are not true to reality.''

Lavezzi, nicknamed "El Pocho", joined Napoli from Argentine side San Lorenzo in 2007 and is under contract at the Stadio San Paolo until June 2015.