Saturday June 8 2013
Lamela: 'I want Roma stay'

Erik Lamela is a transfer target for numerous clubs, but insists “I am even more determined to stay at Roma.”

The Argentine has been linked with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Chelsea, Napoli and Real Madrid after scoring 15 goals in 33 Serie A games this season.

“Am I staying? Absolutely,” the 21-year-old told SportWeek.

“In fact, I am even more determined to stay at Roma. I feel at home here, have formed a great rapport with the people and love the food here too.

“Buenos Aires is more chaotic, so Rome has given me a sense of calm. It is a marvellous city. I arrived here in the summer when it was really hot, so it was easy for me to settle.”

He does admit the tifosi are unique around the Olimpico, particularly when it comes to the Derby della Capitale.

“The fans are also very ‘passionate’ in Buenos Aires, but there are so many teams in that city that opposition supporters almost always ignore you. There is no third way in Rome, as you’re either Giallorosso or Laziale.

“People really are crazy about football here. I met a fan who had a tattoo of my autograph on his arm. That was too much!”

The Giallorossi have struggled in the last two years, failing to qualify for Europe again, but Lamela is optimistic.

“It’s not easy to achieve great results straight away with so many young players. I think this squad is worth more than its position in the table would suggest.

“I was so happy to receive compliments from Francesco Totti, although I must above all focus on how to make Roma great every time I step on to the field.”

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