Lazio director hits out at Silva after midfielder makes Sociedad switch

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v Norwich City - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - July 26, 2020 Manchester City's David Silva is replaced in his last match with Manchester City, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pool via REUTERS/Dave Thompson

(Reuters) - Lazio’s sporting director Igli Tare said on Tuesday that he has lost respect for David Silva after the Spanish midfielder joined La Liga side Real Sociedad while the Italian club had been in talks to sign him.

Italian media reported that Lazio had offered Silva a three-year contract worth 10 million euros ($11.94 million) and the Serie A club were confident of signing the 34-year-old free agent after he left Manchester City this month.

However, Silva opted to join Sociedad instead, signing a two-year deal on Monday to return to Spain where he had previously played for Valencia.

"I've heard about David Silva's transfer to Real Sociedad. I have huge respect for the player but not for the man," Tare said in a statement here.

Silva’s father Fernando Jimenez defended the midfielder, saying that Lazio had only spoken to his agent and the former Spain international had not committed to moving to Italy.

“There were conversations with Lazio, just like there were with Real Sociedad or other teams. There was nothing finalised,” he told Radio Marca.

“David has been left surprised by their reaction. People can say what they like but Lazio spoke with his agent and not with David.”

Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Chennai; Editing by Christian Radnedge