Monday March 17 2014
‘I want Donadoni for five years, but…’

Tommaso Ghirardi says he would hand Roberto Donadoni a five-year contract at Parma if possible, but he cannot stop big clubs’ interest in him.

The tactician has attracted speculation over his future amid continued strong work with the Ducali, which has seen them embark on a club record unbeaten run in Serie A and challenging for Europa League qualification.

“We are having a very good season. Can we get into Europe? We will try and we hope to achieve something important,” club President Ghirardi has commented today on Radio Anch’Io Sport.

“We are doing as we had planned, it is something exceptional. I’m proud of this team that is taking Parma to a high level.

“We began in Serie B and we are now playing at an important level. It is a dream. I’m glad that many clubs are after our jewels.”

For Ghirardi, merit belongs particularly to sporting director Pietro Leonardi and Coach Roberto Donadoni.

“Leonardi is the most important asset of this club and we want to extend his contract. I’m sorry that he has not gone to a big club, but I will keep hold of him tightly.

“Donadoni is the other supporting pillar at Parma, he has been developing the team technically and psychologically, providing a great balance.

“If it was down to me I would give him a contract for another four or five years, but I cannot clip the wings of a great man of Italian football.

“I will do everything to keep him, but if a top club came in, it is only right that he takes that possibility into account.”

Ghirardi was asked for the latest on Antonio Cassano’s mindset at the Ennio Tardini. He was the subject of an upset in January amid reported interest from Sampdoria.

“We are running along well, but only because he is doing well. In January there was a misunderstanding due to someone on the phone having destabilised him. He is tied to Sampdoria due to family issues, but he is also integrated at Parma. He will remain here as long as the will is there.”