Cragnotti: Dejan staying put
By Nadia Carminati
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Reports have suggested that Manchester United and Internazionale are monitoring the cultured midfielder`s situation, but Cragnotti is determined to keep the nucleus of the team together.
Cragnotti is aware of the speculation, which stated that Lazio would look to sell the player if he does not sign a new contract - as his current deal runs out in 2004.
However the Lazio supremo, who has reiterated his intention to step down, is keen to keep Stankovic at the club.
He said: "It's false the news I heard about Dejan Stankovic`s departure in January's market.
"He'll stay with us because he's an important player and because Lazio want to be competitive until the end and want to fight for important results.
"It's true that Stankovic`s sale would earn us a big sum, but we'll risk all our aims and our technical project.
"In January we'll do something but there will be no important negotiations, because there is a big faith in this team, in this coach and these players. They have met my expectations.
"About the next two matches at Olympic stadium [first Perugia, and then the big derby with Roma]? Six points.
"We'll win the derby, I'm ready to bet, because this Lazio won't ever lose in the manner of last season.
"Defeats like that 5-1 have to be erased quickly."
Lazio still have financial problems, and Stankovic has yet to agree a new deal, but Cragnotti is prepared to gamble in a bid to bring success back to the Stadio Olimpico.