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From Daily Soccer

By Simon Evans

MILAN, July 11 (Reuters)(DS) - Argentine striker Hernan Crespo said on Tuesday he had no idea Italian champions Lazio had agreed a world record 110 billion lire ($54.16 million) deal to sign him from Parma.
"I am surprised. I don't know anything and no one has spoken to me," Crespo was quoted as saying from the Argentine World Cup squad headquarters.
"My agent is in the United States and (Lazio president
Sergio) Cragnotti hasn't shown his face here. I am at a training camp and no-one has called me, so for the moment I am a Parma player.
I am amazed at this news. I have not signed anything and I
have no idea at what stage the negotations are at."
Lazio said earlier a fee had been agreed with Parma.
Parma have been in transfer talks for several weeks but
Lazio's offer of 35 billion lire ($17.23 million), plus
Argentine midfielder Mathias Almeyda and Portugal winger Sergio Conceicao, has finally persuaded Parma to allow Crespo to move to Rome.
The agreed transfer fee eclipses the 100 billion lire ($50
million) Inter Milan paid to Lazio for Italy striker Christian Vieri in June 1999. Lazio said they had valued Almeyda at 45 billion lire ($22.16 million) and Conceicao at 30 billion lire ($14.77 million) and that all that remained was for minor details of the players contracts to be drawn up.

Conceicao, a key part of Lazio's championship-winning side
last season said he was upset with Lazio's decision to use him as part-exchange in the deal.
"I am disappointed with what Lazio have done. To be honest I think I deserved a bit more respect after all that I have given to this team. "I still don't know anything, no one warned me I could be sold and I'll be sorry to leave Rome," said the winger who scored a hat-trick against Germany as Portugal reached the Euro 2000 semifinals.
Crespo will team up with compatriots Claudio Lopez, a recent signing from Valencia and midfielder Juan Veron, a key figure in last season's championship-winning side.
Crespo was the third highest scorer in Serie A last season
with 21 goals -- only Gabriel Batistuta and Andriy Shevchenko found the target more often. Crespo joined Parma in the 1996 close season from River Plate where he won the Argentine title and the Libertadores Cup. Since arriving in Italy, Crespo has scored 62 goals in 116 Serie A appearances for Parma and established himself in the Argentine national team. Crespo's nationality, long hair and ability to find the target from the acustest of angles, have inevitably brought comparisons with Batistuta.
The two will now go head-to-head in the Rome derby after
Batistuta joined Roma from Fiorentina in May.
But while the deal gives Lazio plenty of options in attack
where they can also call on Chilean Marcelo Salas, Simone
Inzaghi and Fabrizio Ravanelli, the move has weakened their
There is no obvious replacement for Conceicao on the
right-flank and Almeyda's tough-tackling and battling approach will be hard to compensate for. But in splashing out for Crespo, Lazio president Sergio Cragnotti is clearly sending out a message that his club have no intention of handing over the title without a fight.
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