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Marchetti denies Barca speculation

Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti has dismissed reports he is moving to Barcelona, insisting instead he is committed to the Biancoceleste.

The Italy No. 2 had one of his best seasons during 2012-13, leading to suggestions he could dislodge Gianluigi Buffon as first choice in the Italy goal. Those performances were also reported to have caught the eye of Barca, but the 30-year-old denies there being any truth to the rumours he will move to the blaugrana.

"I’m 30, not 20, and you need to put things in the right perspective," he said. "Nobody has been asking for me and if there had been anybody, the president, with whom I have an excellent relationship, would have spoken to me and we would have decided what to do as mature adults.

"I am here because I wanted to stay here and I am really enthusiastic. When I came here, I had big projects in my mind. I thought of a big club who have been competitive in Italy and abroad in recent years.

"[President Claudio] Lotito told me he wants to take this club back to those levels and I’m convinced we will get there. I hope to be part of that team, which is able to compete with the strongest in Europe."

After reaching the last eight of the Europa League last season, Lazio will be aiming to go even further this season, although Marchetti says the real aim is to qualify for the Champions League.

Winning the Italian Supercoppa against Juventus is also high up on an ambitious list of objectives.

"We start with the same spirit from last year, also because it led us to win the Coppa Italia," he said. "But now we need to forget about all that has gone.

"It’s going to be a tough game against Juve. They’ve signed some big names, but we'll play an open game and we're convinced we can win it. From the first day of pre-season, I could see in my team-mates’ eyes that they want to win this and that gives me even more belief that we can lift another trophy.

"I know what I want, but it will be the pitch which decides if we finish inside the top three. Certainly we have a strong side, but our rivals are also in good shape and they have strengthened.

"The sides contending the top three positions have increased in recent years so it’s going to be a real battle."