Football

David Silva spurns Lazio to join Real Sociedad on a free transfer

Spanish midfielder David Silva has agreed a two-year contract with Real Sociedad following his departure from Manchester City, the La Liga club announced yesterday.

Silva, 34, spent a decade with City and made his final appearance as a substitute in last Saturday's 3-1 defeat by Lyon in the Champions League quarter-finals. He is expected to join his new Sociedad teammates in the coming days for pre-season training.

Lazio are furious at the move, believing Silva was all set to sign for them, having booked a medical for him.

The club's sporting director Igli Tare said: "I have great respect for the player, but not for the man."

The 2020/21 La Liga campaign is scheduled to begin on Sept 12. Sociedad finished sixth last season to qualify for the Europa League.

Silva won 11 major trophies in his time in Manchester and is widely regarded as one of the English Premier League's finest imports. City said a statue will be erected next year in his honour, while a pitch at the club's training ground will also be named after him.

Silva is the fourth-highest goalscorer in Spain's history and sixth for all-time appearances.

He was also in the squads that won the 2010 World Cup and two European Championships, in 2008 and 2012. - AFP

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