Football: Lazio president plays down Hernanes Inter talk

MILAN (AFP) - Lazio president Claudio Lotito on Wednesday played down the reported departure of creative midfielder Hernanes to Serie A rivals Inter.

Reports on Wednesday said the Brazilian international was top of Inter's transfer list as they look to recruit before Friday's transfer deadline.

La Gazzetta dello Sport splashed its front page with the report and claimed Inter owner Erick Thohir would offer Lazio 10 million euros (S$17.4 million) plus defender Ibrahima Mbaye, currently on loan at Livorno, to capture the 28-year-old.

Reports late on Wednesday maintained the deal would go through on Thursday but Lazio president Lotito told Radio Radio: "I haven't sold Hernanes and I have no intention of selling him. He has to tell us if he wants to leave Lazio. We haven't put him up for sale."

Currently in his fourth season at Lazio, Hernanes hit the net 11 times in Serie A last season and would be a welcome addition to a stuttering Inter side that has taken only eight points from their last nine league games.

Ahead of Sunday's trip to leaders and champions Juventus, Walter Mazzarri's Inter side sit in fifth place 11 points off the first Champions League qualifying spot occupied by third-placed Napoli.

Lazio are in 10th, five points off the first available Europa League spot ahead of travelling to Chievo on Saturday.

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