Duo wait in wings for Dejan
By Adam Marshall & Nadia Carminati
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Yugoslav midfielder is much admired in the Italian capital, and should remain with the Roman club, but the biancoceleste's well documented financial problems could scupper the hope of agreeing a new deal.
Lazio still owe Manchester United for the purchase of Jaap Stam and reports continue to suggest that the Old Trafford club will use this to their advantage to prise a star name away from Stadio Olimpico.
Argentinian newspaper Ole claims Juan Pablo Sorin and Claudio Lopez will head for Manchester in January, while separate sources in Italy state that Leeds United are current favourites to land Sorin.
Stankovic is another possible target for Sir Alex Ferguson, although Inter are also great admirers of his talents, and are desperate to buy a left winger during the transfer window.
Real Madrid's Santiago Solari remains a live contender to fill that role, as part of the deal that took Ronaldo to Spain, but 24-year-old Stankovic is also on Hector Cuper's hit-list.
The Belgrade-born star is out of contract in 2004, and Lazio do not want him to run into the last season of his deal at the club, because of the Bosman Ruling.
Agent Vincenzo Morabito feels his client should realise the current financial climate means he may not be able to demand huge new terms, but stressed the player has not been made available for transfer.
"He has not been put on the market today," Morabito told Radio Radio.
"As for the contract, we have spoken with the club for the extension of the agreement that expires in 2004 on two or three occasions.
"Stankovic is one of the more important players for the biancoceleste team, but it is also obvious that the talks take place when the team wants to adopt the politics of a salary cap and a review of the current contracts.
"We are aware that the gain available at other clubs would be various, and smaller than there was two years ago.
"There is the will to come to an agreement that satisfies all parties.
"The times are changing, we have returned to normality, and the player must take that into account.
"At the present moment, we are still far from agreement with Lazio. But I hope that all is resolved before the end of the season.
"Stankovic is calm. He is a mature boy for his age."