Following orders

There’s been a lot of booing and hissing up in Victoria, where Leandro Lázzaro’s been portrayed, in his own words, as ‘the bad guy in this film.’ On Thursday, Lázzaro – who thought all parties had agreed a transfer to Estudiantes on Wednesday – was still training with Tigre. And there’s another player dispute elsewhere: Adrián Bastía isn’t happy with how Racing are treating him…

‘I’m only taking orders,’ explained Lázzaro, speaking about his confusing situation on Thursday. ‘They told me to pack my suitcases, and I packed them. After that, I checked out of the team hotel and left. I’d gone ten blocks when I got a call on my mobile to turn back. I don’t know where I’m stopping.’

Tigre and Estudiantes, it seems, hadn’t agreed that fee of US$300,000 reported here yesterday after all, so Lázzaro has to sit about twiddling his thumbs until it either goes through or comes crashing down – and if the latter happens, he may not be a very popular boy with Tigre manager Diego Cagna in any case, after the words exchanged on Wednesday. What a dilemma.

Bastía, who was in Santa Fe for personal matters on the day the rest of Racing’s squad were paid the money owed them by club owners Blanquiceleste, is the only member of the squad who still hasn’t been given his share. He issued an ultimatum to Blanquiceleste chief Fernando De Tomaso on Thursday, explaining that he’d had contract offers from clubs in Turkey and Greece, and that he’d be walking out if he’s not paid the money he’s owed – which amounts to his wages for the last six months. If Racing lose one of their most important squad members through this dispute, with the others who’ve already left for pastures new, the pressure will only increase even further on the board…

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