Roma “are very clear” on their choice of Coach. “He conveys the club’s values and is a winner,” said sporting director Monchi, hinting at Eusebio Di Francesco.
Luciano Spalletti confirmed last night that he will not be signing a new contract, so the search is on for a replacement, although it would already appear to be Sassuolo Coach Di Francesco.
He is a former Roma player from the 2001 Scudetto-winning squad and has shown an ability to develop young players.
Di Francesco was spotted in Rome today, but refused to answer questions on his future.
“We’re still working on it, though we’ve come a long way. Our priority was for Luciano to stay, but obviously we were working on alternatives at the same time in case this happened,” Monchi told Roma TV.
“We are very clear on the candidate we want to lead the team next season and that’s what we’re working on. Fundamentally, we want a coach who has clear ideas, has a hard-work ethic, is able to buy into the club philosophy, conveys the club’s values and is a winner. I think those characteristics sum up the Coach we want to take us forward.
“As I said, one of the things I was excited about when I joined Roma was the chance to work with Luciano. Sadly that’s not been possible. As I said in his farewell press conference, my perception of Luciano is even better now that it was before I arrived here. I have a better idea because I’ve seen him work.
“I hope our paths cross again in the future. I wish him all the luck in the world, because I think he deserves that.
“My message to the Roma fans is to have confidence in the project, to have confidence that the road ahead is going to be an exciting one. As I said at my unveiling, I didn’t leave Sevilla for nothing. I’m here because I want to win. I want to achieve big things at a club that in my opinion deserves it. That’s the message to the fans.
"We want to achieve what the Roma fans dream of. That would be the greatest reward for our work.”
Spalletti did secure second place, which means automatic Champions League qualification.
“First of all, I think it’s a reward for a job well done. Roma have broken records in terms of goals scored and points, coming second with their highest-ever points tally. I think there’s satisfaction at a job well done. I think it’s very important for the future. The AS Roma brand needs to be associated with the Champions League.
“As for the project we want to build in the future, it’s fundamental that we have the chance to play in the Champions League. It’s a source of huge satisfaction and happiness and allows us to start laying the foundations for the future.
“It’s another string to your bow when it comes to convincing players, but in any case the AS Roma brand is already a strong one. It helps but it’s not the be all and end all. The project we have in mind is ambitious and exciting and it’s already moving forwards, so that doesn’t change too much.
“There is an economic aspect involved. That said, I think the real value lies in the brand, the prestige and the quality of image it enables you to project as a club, rather than the purely economic value.
“Elite players want to play in the best competition in the world and that is the Champions League, so playing in it makes Roma an even more attractive proposition.”