Lazio tie up Lopez move
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Lazio have completed the loan capture of Barcelona defender Oscar Lopez.Lazio have completed the capture of Barcelona defender Oscar Lopez on a season-long loan.
Lopez had slipped out of Frank Rijkaard's plans at Camp Nou following the summer arrivals of Silvinho, Edmilson and Juliano Belletti.
He had been training with the B team for the past few weeks but has now clinched a switch to Serie A.
The 24-year-old is likely to be the first of many new recruits for the Biancoceleste and he will add versatility to coach Domenico Caso's back-line.
Though Lopez will spend the campaign on loan at Stadio Olimpico, there is no option for Lazio to purchase the Spaniard.
Lopez, who is contracted to Barcelona until 2007, is looking forward to the challenge of playing for Lazio.
"I am very happy to have been signed by an important club like Lazio," Lopez told the club's official website.
"They have convinced me that I will be able to express myself with the help of the coach and my team-mates."
Another Barca player who could join Lopez at Lazio is Mexican international Rafael Marquez who has also fallen victim to the influx of new signings.
The former Monaco star failed to establish himself at Camp Nou during his first season at the club last term, and is struggling to force his way into Rijkaard's plans.
Marquez now faces the prospect of being moved on if the EU passports of new signings Edmilson and Silvinho do not arrive before the start of the new season.
Spanish sides are only permitted three non-EU players in their squad, and two of those places at Barca are already taken by forwards Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o.
Both Silvinho and Edmilson are hopeful of gaining European citizenship in time for the new season, but if either fail then Marquez looks likely to be sacrificed.
However, the Mexican is determined to stay and fight for a first-team place, and admitted he was "worried" about the prospect of being loaned out.