Roma director Gianluca Petrachi confirmed Toby Alderweireld talks, but Nicolò Zaniolo and Alessandro Florenzi “are not on the market. If offers arrive, they will be evaluated.”
He spoke after presenting Leonardo Spinazzola in a Press conference and was his usual open self when asked about other transfer deals, such as whether Zaniolo or Florenzi are on the market.
“I told off Zaniolo, like a father would to a son, with all the affection in this world, to get his head back on his shoulders, but immediately people said that meant putting him on the market,” said Petrachi.
“I have to work to get the best out of Zaniolo and my job isn’t just buying and selling players, as I have direct contact with the squad. I see them every day and consider them to be teammates.
“It’s not right that every word we say gets built up into some giant story. I understand your point of view, but I never put Zaniolo on the market. I can’t rule anything out either, because nobody thought Juventus would sell Zinedine Zidane and yet they did.
“What I can say is that today Zaniolo is not on the market. We evaluate everything, but must also be clear.”
There are reports consultant Franco Baldini is in London for talks with Tottenham Hotspur today regarding Zaniolo and a possible part-exchange with Toby Alderweireld, but here again Petrachi was irritated.
“I said the same to Baldini, who can be a resource for us. I realise there is a release clause for Alderweireld, but Baldini has a strong rapport with Spurs directors, he worked there for many years and can support Roma in signing Alderweireld.
“If you want to say that Baldini negotiates on our behalf, then that is incorrect. I want it to be clear that he is of support to Roma and in the specific case of Alderweireld is an idea to help us save a bit of money. We’d be happy if we could sign him tomorrow without paying the release clause.
“As for Florenzi, he is the captain of Roma and I never put him on the market. If offers arrive, they will be evaluated, but I never called anyone to say he was available.
“I don’t like to talk about specific players, but obviously with Ivan Marcano and Kostas Manolas sold, we need two centre-backs and that is the priority. We are working on several fronts and have clear ideas on what we intend to do.
“I can confirm we will bring in a midfielder, but I can’t tell you who that will be. The Coach asked for two weeks to get to know and evaluate the players at his disposal before making decisions.
“Many promises have been made, but I always try to be honest and consistent. What I hope is to see a different Roma.”
Petrachi left Torino this summer, where he had worked with current Bologna Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who was just diagnosed with leukaemia.
“I want to wish my friend Sinisa the best of luck. He’s a real, fair person and a fine Coach. He had courage to pass on his strength to many people who are suffering. He will win this battle and I hope to see him soon.”