Serie A side SS Lazio have officially appointed Maurizio Sarri as the club’s new head coach, the club announced in a statement on Wednesday.
The former Juventus and FC Chelsea manager replaces the departed Simone Inzaghi, who left Rome to guide FC Inter for the next season.
While the official statement did not specify the length of Sarri’s contract, Italian daily Corriere dello Sport claims he signed a two-year deal with an option for a third.
Sarri will earn around $3,5 million per season with add-ons linked to the team’s performance – namely, reaching the lucrative Champions League and Europa League spots.
“Lazio have chosen a coach whose standing is in line with the need to consolidate and grow, in Italy and Europe, the leading role that the club, its fans, and the team deserves to have,” SS Lazio president Claudio Lotito said in a statement.
The 62-years-old has been without a club since he was sacked by Juventus in August 2020.
The Bianconcelesti fans had to wait patiently for over a week for the final announcement, as negotiation went on for several days, with Sarri reportedly insisting to bring his staff with him to Rome.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Serie A giants teased the tifosi on Twitter, hinting at the appointment by posting an emoji of a cigarette, a reference to Sarri’s well-known smoking habit.
There are huge expectations on Maurizio Sarri as the Rome-based club were on the hunt for a top-class replacement for long-serving Simone Inzaghi, who guided the Aquile since April 2016.
Inzaghi, who finished sixth last season, left the club after an impressive five-year spell in charge at the Stadio Olimpico, winning a Coppa Italia in and two Italian Supercup.
But sports director Igli Tare seems confident that Sarri is the best man for the job as he has a proven record of success at the helm of his previous teams.
The 62-year-old managed to win the Europa League with Chelsea in 2018/2019 and the Scudetto with Juventus, the following year.
Additionally, Sarri’s style of play – nicknamed ‘Sarriball’ – will bring a very offensive and fast-paced soccer, which proved to be highly effective in his career.
According to Opta’s Stats, Sarri’s previous teams in Serie A averaged 1,96 goals per game and managed to get 2,16 points per game, a higher tally than Simone Inzaghi’s previous tenure (1,78 points per game in his five years in Rome).
Sarri hopes to continue Inzaghi’s fine work at Lazio, but to do so, the teams desperately needs new signings, as his appointment means a tactical switch from a 3-5-2 to a 4-3-3.
The Biancocelesti already began working on new transfer targets, with the club already being linked to Nikola Maksimovic and Elseid Hysaj. Italian transfer market pundit Gianluca di Marzio reported.
The two players are both free agents and are said to be explicit requests from Sarri, who trained them during his stint at Napoli.