Claudio Ranieri admits Roma ‘had to handle Daniele De Rossi’s departure differently’ as he maintains the decision was made ‘in London and America’.
A seven-game unbeaten run sees Roma just three points off a Champions League place in Serie A going into their final two matches of the season, the next of which comes on Saturday against Sassuolo.
“The players are fine,” Ranieri said at a Press conference.
“Zaniolo’s calf is a little hardened, so he’ll do some individual work. Pellegrini’s problem isn’t serious: it’s the problem he had before, which has got worse, but I think he’ll be available on Saturday. If he isn’t, he surely will be next week.”
The focus then inevitably turned to De Rossi’s controversial departure and the Coach’s role after he confronted ultras with the midfielder...
“I don’t seem to have used certain words attributed to me. To the fans that asked me who made the decisions about De Rossi, I said: ‘Those in London and America.’
“That’s where the President lives and who’s closest to him [Baldini]. That was it. I don’t know anything about Pallotta’s future plans, I haven’t talked to them about it.
“I end my relationship with Roma after two matches. I believe that at every football club, there are spare parts.
“We’ve also seen some teams lose great points of reference in Italy. But since De Rossi was our captain, a person in our history, perhaps his departure had to be handled differently so he could think it through better.
“That opportunity wasn’t given to him, but that’s football. The club want to change, they want other players: and like how players choose different clubs, the clubs change too.
“Given how maybe the Roma fans support the team so passionately, maybe more careful consideration was needed.
“I’m a Coach. If I’d been asked what I wanted with regards to De Rossi, in case we were keeping him, I would’ve said that I wanted him because I know what kind of man and player he is.
“We always talk about leaders: there are many of them. There’s the one for the fans, social media, club, journalists.
“Then there are those for the Coach: he’s a Coach on the pitch, he reasons without an ego and for good of the team. These are the leaders we want as Coaches.
“Baldini doesn’t affect my daily work at all. I don’t know what kind of relationship he has with the President.
“Here, in my work, he doesn’t affect me. Generally speaking, I don’t know what he does.
“I expected to see a team down mentally, not physically. It’s clear that these extra situations don’t help.
“I asked the fans to help us and they’ve been great. I can only thank them for that.”