Thursday July 26 2018
Pallotta: ‘Couldn’t reject Alisson bid’

Roma President James Pallotta says accepting Liverpool’s €72.5m Alisson bid was “a no-brainer”.

The goalkeeper has moved to Merseyside for a world record transfer fee, but some Giallorossi fans were unhappy he was allowed to go.

“In Alisson’s case, come on, let’s be serious,” Pallotta said on SiriusXM FC.

“He’s great, I had a conversation the day he was leaving, I wished him great luck and a lot of shut-outs, except to give up five or six goals if we play them again.

“He said he can’t do that, but we can still talk to him about that!

“You know, €70m is a lot. I think we’ve brought in a really, really good goalie in [Robin] Olsen, I thin he’s very underrated.

“Monchi actually was a goalie, so you’d think at the very least he has an idea of who has some talent in that position!

“So the decision on Alisson, we’ve identified another goalie who we think is going to be very, very good for us in that position, but that money also gives us the ability to look at a couple of other positions and people - like Malcom for example - that we could bring in.

“So we’re doing that right now, Monchi, myself and [Franco] Baldini spoke for an hour plus last night about a couple of players in a few different positions - I don’t want to say the positions!

“If you can pick up three really good players with the money for selling one really good goalie, to the football guys that matter at my place it was a no-brainer.”

Another fan favourite who left this summer is Radja Nainggolan.

“We had to say: ‘he’s been with us, here’s his age’. I think as [Coach Eusebio] Di Francesco said yesterday… I don’t know all the issues but Di Francesco coached him and I think he felt that it was time.

“Spalletti knows him well and likes him and they came to us and talked to us. We both had Financial Fair Play issues that had to be dealt with.

“At the same time we said: ‘who would we want, or who are we talking to?’ So I look at Radja and I love him, the kid’s a warrior, but we bring in [Javier] Pastore and I think one of the things we needed - other than that he’s a few years younger - is I think Pastore also brings to us… he’s a better passer than most midfielders that are out there.

“When I look at what we have up-front with [Edin] Dzeko and [Patrik] Schick, [Justin] Kluivert who we brought in.

“We’ve got [Stephan] El Shaarawy, [Diego] Perotti, [Cengiz] Under who had a good second half of last year.

“You look at our front, the issue last year was we’ve got to get them the ball in good positions to score.

“We didn’t score a lot of goals last year in relation to what I think our talent level up-front was. We were in the mid-50s or something which might have been 20 goals below the year before.

“So we needed someone and we’ve brought in a few people like that, who can distribute the ball to the talent that we have up-front.”

The American was one of those who were sceptical about former Milan owner Yonghong Li, who has been forced to sell the club to Elliott Management…

“I thought that was the most obvious thing,” Pallotta marvelled.

“Coming from a finance background for 30 years I thought that was the most obvious thing.

“I do think that Gordon Singer has the potential to get Milan back for sure, he’s already made some changes and I’ve had a number of conversations with him already on league stuff and a few other things.

“We’re definitely going to try and work together closely for the benefit of the league.”

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