Maurizio Sarri said at a post-match press conference that he and Juventus players ‘did the club a favour’ when asked to give up four months’ wages in 2020 and commented on Luca Pellegrini’s recent loan.
The Biancocelesti boss spoke at a press conference at the Allianz Stadium attended by Football Italia after a 1-0 loss against Juventus on Thursday.
Sarri was in charge of the Old Lady in 2020 when the club asked him and his players to give up four months’ wages during the peak of the COVID pandemic.
The Bianconeri are now under investigation, accused of having paid three months’ wages under the table. Sarri, however, doesn’t think that his job in 2019-20 has been put into question by the recent investigations.
“I was not sitting in the board of directors, we did nothing if not a favour to the club when they asked,” he said.
“This is the history of great clubs, sometimes there are these moments. It has happened to other elite clubs. Juventus are a strong club, they’ll pay what they have to and then they will get back and become strong again.”
Lazio loaned Pellegrini from Juventus on the deadline day, with the Italy full-back arriving from Eintracht Frankfurt where he had spent the first part of the season. Sarri had already worked with Pellegrini for a few weeks during his time in Turin before Pellegrini joined Cagliari on loan.
“I didn’t coach him for too long. I remember he sustained an injury in July and then I had a problem in August, so we hadn’t met many times on the pitch,” noted Sarri.
“He is a natural left-footed defender, but I delivered him the bad news. A defender arriving on January 31 has never become a regular starter with me. I did it with midfielders and strikers, but never with defenders. It’s not the players’ fault, but mine. I play with a different defensive style, keeping a high line, so it’s not easy.”
Click here for Sarri’s comments on Lazio’s performance against Juventus on Italian TV.