'I respect the player, not the man' – Silva's Sociedad move infuriates Lazio director

David Silva during his time with Manchester City Source: Getty Images

Lazio sporting director Igli Tare has taken the extraordinary step of issuing a brief statement just to announce he has no respect for David Silva "the man" after he joined Real Sociedad instead of the Italians.

Silva, 34, officially left Manchester City on Tuesday (AEST) after 10 years at the club, a period that marked him out as arguably their greatest player.

The playmaker had confirmed last year that he planned to depart in 2020 at the end of his contract, though there had generally been little speculation as to where he might end up next.

That was until the past few weeks, however, as Lazio looked certain to be Silva's new home, with media reports claiming everything was agreed and a medical had been scheduled.

But La Real caused something of a shock on Tuesday when, just a few hours after City announced plans to immortalise Silva with a statue, the Basque club confirmed the former Spain international was their new player.

The news was said to have infuriated and stunned Lazio, and Tare's decision to release a brief – albeit withering – statement seemed to confirm the club's position.

Accompanied by no other comment from the wider institution, Tare's analysis of the situation was posted to Lazio's website on Wednesday, the director saying: "I learn about David Silva's transfer to Real Sociedad. I have great respect for the player, but not for the man."

Silva signed a two-year deal with La Real, with whom he shall feature in La Liga for the first time since leaving Valencia in 2010.

They will be Silva's second Basque club, having spent a season on loan at Eibar at the start of his career.

Source Omnisport