Pedro swaps Roma for Lazio

Former Chelsea winger Pedro has completed a move from Roma to Lazio in what is the first transfer between the cross-city rivals in 40 years.

The 34-year-old signed a three-year deal with Roma last summer after arriving on a free transfer from Chelsea, but was deemed surplus to requirements by new boss Jose Mourinho and was left out of the team’s pre-season preparations.

Lazio manager Maurizio Sarri was keen to reunite with Pedro after having coached him at Chelsea in the 2018/19 season.

Roma were keen to offload the forward to a foreign club but would have lost out on around 3.5m euros due to Italian state laws on tax benefits.

Lazio will not have to pay Roma any transfer fee but will take on the Spaniard’s current wages of around 4m euros per year pre-tax, plus bonuses depending on team performances next season.

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Pedro scored for Roma against his current employers Lazio in their latest 2-0 derby win in May

Over the years, a host of different players wore both jerseys – including Aleksandar Kolarov, Sinisa Mihajlovic and Angelo Peruzzi – but direct transfers between the two Italian capital clubs have been very rare.

The last transfer between the two capital rivals took place in 1981 when Carlo Perrone swapped Lazio for Roma before returning to his former club the following year.

Pedro, who took up the No 9 at Lazio, endured a turbulent year with Roma with six goals in 40 appearances but scored in the side’s 2-0 derby win over his current employers in May.

He spent five years at Chelsea between 2015 and 2020 after arriving from Barcelona and scored 29 goals in 137 appearances during his time in west London.