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Crespo sparks striker swap Friday 10 May, 2002


Hernan Crespo’s departure from Lazio will spark a merry-go-round of moves including Patrick Kluivert, Enrico Chiesa and Rivaldo.

The Argentine hitman is almost certain to leave the capital this summer after exchanging barbed comments with President Sergio Cragnotti.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are tracking the situation carefully and are ready to offer star players as part of a potential deal.

The Italian press suggests that Barca are offering either former Milan striker Patrick Kluivert or Rivaldo.

The Brazilian is the favourite to make the move as Cragnotti has long been a confirmed fan of the Selecao hero.

A bid to take Rivaldo to Rome failed in the summer of 2000 but two years on the former World Player of the Year has outstayed his welcome at the club. If their new Coach is to be Louis Van Gaal, then Barcelona would be willing to let go of their costly star.

However, it is claimed that new Lazio boss Roberto Mancini would favour Kluivert as a reinforcement.

That situation could change if Enrico Chiesa’s proposed move to Lazio goes through. The Fiorentina hitman’s agent has confirmed interest from the Biancocelesti and he would willingly follow ex-Viola Coach Mancini to the Stadio Olimpico.

Space for these new strikers will be cleared by the confirmed departure of Claudio Lopez. The player admitted that he would be sold to Atletico Madrid.

“I spoke with Cragnotti and told him I want to stay at Lazio,” said the former Valencia star. “I don’t want to go to Madrid, but I cannot oppose myself to this decision and therefore am at the club’s disposal.”

According to Atletico President Jesus Gil Lopez will be joined by teammates Gaizka Mendieta and Diego Simeone.
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