Monchi declares Nicolo Zaniolo is Roma’s ‘future and won’t be sold’ and reveals they let go of Radja Nainggolan because ‘he’s difficult to manage’.
Inter were thought to have pulled off a coup when they swapped Zaniolo for Nainggolan last summer, but the Italy starlet has since broken through for club and country, while injuries and off-field issues have limited the Belgian’s impact at San Siro.
“Every day I hear that I’ll resign or be sent away, but I’m still in Rome,” Monchi told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“My objective is to achieve success gradually but also continuously. President Pallotta shared my decision to keep Di Francesco.
“I didn’t want to sell Salah or Rudiger two years ago, but I had to. Roma invested a lot last summer and we’ve already done some important things.
“This month we’ll only be looking for players who improve the team. It won’t be easy, but we’ll try until the window closes.
“Still, I’m certain we’re ready [to compete] in terms of quality and quantity. I believe in Schick: we could loan him out to help him, but there’s no perfect formula.
“Knowing De Rossi and his commitment to the Roma cause, even now it isn’t good for him to talk about the future.
“Renewals for Manolas, Cengiz, El Shaarawy and Lorenzo Pellegrini? Each situation is different.
“Some will be assessed at the end of the windows, others at the end of the season. Zaniolo, given his performances, could be the first renewal we discuss.
“I didn’t expect him to do so well right from the start, and credit belongs to Di Francesco. Inter didn’t want to include him in the negotiations for Nainggolan.
“Ausilio had put up a wall, but they wanted Radja and eventually gave up [Zaniolo]. I’m sorry if he’s having problems in Milan, but we intended to sell him, Zaniolo aside.
“Radja is a good player, but the problem is managing him. At the start we wanted to loan out Zaniolo as we had lots of midfielders in the squad.
“However, once Strootman left we realised it was the perfect time to keep him. Zaniolo is the our future and won’t be sold. He’ll have a long and important career with this club.
“I understood that it was more appropriate to sign Italian players, so Roma will be very Italian in the future.”