No smoke screen: Lazio hires Maurizio Sarri as coach

ROME (AP) — Lazio hired Maurizio Sarri as its new coach on Wednesday, shortly after the Italian club strongly hinted at the appointment with a series of cryptic posts on social media.

“Lazio announces that Maurizio Sarri is the new coach of the first-team squad,” the Serie A club said in a one-line statement on its website.

Italian media reported that the former Juventus coach signed a two-year contract at Lazio, with the option for an additional season.

Earlier Wednesday, Lazio had simply posted an emoji of a cigarette on twitter and then wrote in Italian “who has a light?” It then posted a collage of pictures including a bank and a hand holding a cigarette.

Sarri, who is a notorious smoker, is a former banker.

The 62-year-old Sarri replaces Simone Inzaghi, who left Lazio last week after five years to take charge of newly crowned Serie A champion Inter Milan following Antonio Conte’s departure.

Sarri has been out of a job since being fired from Juventus last year despite leading the Bianconeri to a ninth successive title in his one season in charge. He has also coached Chelsea and Napoli.

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