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LILIAN THURAM'S move to Lazio appears to be getting closer with reports from both France and Italy indicating that his club, Parma, have agreed a fee for the defender and all that remains is for the player to agree personal terms.

However, this could prove more difficult than it first seems, with Thuram being worried about the racism prevalent in Italy and especially at Lazio, who have been fined on numerous occasions over the conduct of their fans.

Thuram met with four supporters earlier this week to voice his fears over a move to Rome and came back satisfied that progress had been made, although he remained unconvinced of securing a transfer to the Olimpic Stadium.

According to L'Equipe, Parma and Lazio have agreed to a deal in principle, with Nello Governato saying: "Parma accepted the Lazio offer (250 million Francs - £23.48 million plus Paolo Negro).

"The only obstacle today, is the player's decision. We can't do anything if he doesn't want to come. Thuram should meet the Parma chairman soon and we are expecting an official decision next week."

Lazio official Guido Paglia confirmed: "We have come to an agreement with Parma for Lilian Thuram. Now the talks will start with the player, because without his approval the transfer can't go through."

Thuram, who has recently accepted a position as spokesman for Amnesty International, could see staying in Parma or moving to Manchester United as preferable to the powderkeg situation in Rome.

Oscar Damiani, Thuram's agent, revealed his client's first thoughts were to protect his family, saying: "Lilian will take a decision only after this final (Italian Cup). The only certainty is he will leave Parma.

"He will choose between four clubs : Lazio, Juve, Manchester and Real. Then, he will sign a four or five-year contract."

Another stumbling block for Lazio and Real is the wages of the players, with the 29-year-old asking for around 40 million Francs (£3.46 million) per year.

It remains to be seen whether Sir Alex Ferguson will be prepared to match Lazio`s offer and then give the French international a big enough financial package to lure him to England.