Edy Reja remains in pole position to succeed Vladimir Petkovic as Lazio boss after former fan favorite Paolo Di Canio unequivocally ruled himself out of the running by publicly voicing his dislike for club president Claudio Lotito.
Petkovic has yet to be dismissed from his position, but the under-pressure coach confirmed on Monday that he has agreed to take charge of Switzerland after next summer's World Cup in Brazil.
The 50-year-old's departure is expected to be confirmed imminently, in light of a dreadful run of results that has left the Biancocelesti 10th in Serie A, and Reja is expected to be unveiled as his successor until the end of the season, particularly now that Di Canio has had his say.
"Would I coach Lazio? With Lotito [in charge], not on my life," the ex-Sunderland boss told Sky Sport Italia. "I don't like him and he doesn't like me. Not that it's a secret. My future? Italy, England, even elsewhere, we'll see."
Reja stood down as Lazio boss last year, despite being urged to remain at the helm by Lotito, and Di Canio admits that he would not be surprised to see the 68-year-old return to the Olimpico.
"Well," he said, "Reja already knows the dressing room ..."
Di Canio mused, though, that Reja could find it difficult to motivate the likes of star midfielder Hernanes, whom he believes has his heart set on a move to one of Italy's elite.
"Some players could have lost motivation," he said. "Maybe they want to compete in different teams. For example, I'm thinking of Hernanes. But this is just my impression, as an outside observer."
According to reports in Italy, legendary coach Giovanni Trapattoni, who parted company with Republic of Ireland earlier this year, is also in the frame to succeed Petkovic.
- Sports & Recreation
- Paolo Di Canio
- Claudio Lotito
- Edy Reja