Saturday January 18 2014
Garcia: 'Bastos close to Roma'

Rudi Garcia confirmed Roma are on the verge of signing Michel Bastos from under Napoli’s noses. “He is a versatile player.”

The Coach spoke to Sky Sport Italia after a 3-0 victory over Livorno, their third win on the bounce.

“We’ll see what the future holds, above all the next game against Verona, which will be very difficult. For the moment I am happy with this victory, as we scored three goals without allowing any opportunities to our opponents.

“There were also hardly any bookings, so it was a good evening and now we can calmly sit back and wait for the Juventus result against Sampdoria.”

It has been strongly reported that Bastos agreed a move to Roma and will arrive tomorrow for his medical, despite initial claims the Al Ain winger had a deal with Napoli.

“It’s not done yet, but negotiations are at an advanced stage. He is a versatile player, which is what interests me. He can play on the right or left, has a strong shot, good technique and can also play left-back, so we are covered in many different areas.

“I have been tracking this player since he left Lille, going through Lyon, Schalke and Al Ain. I always spoke to him and knew this was a possibility for us. Above all, he was very eager to come back to Europe, so I am happy. He’s not just a player of a top level, but also a good man.”

Having also signed Radja Nainggolan in the January window, are Roma strengthening to target the Scudetto?

“We are in second place and want to do everything possible to have an even better second half of the season. This is why we needed a player if Michael Bradley left and one more option on the wing.

“As Federico Balzaretti is out for the moment, Bastos can also play left-back, though Dodo impressed today and is getting better. Obviously Dodo can’t play every game until the end of the season.”

“I am not trying to change Roma tactically. We know Nainggolan and I hope Bastos – if he arrives – above all play good football and are very talented. It’s true they have physicality, pace and are good at taking players on, which is what makes a complete player in modern football.”

This evening Adem Ljajic scored his first Serie A goal since September and Garcia has faith in the Serbian striker.

“He is still young and can grow a great deal, including in physical terms to become stronger. We see him improve game by game and I have young players like Ljajic who have such a big margin of improvement for the future.”

Roma will face Juventus in the Coppa Italia quarter-final on Tuesday evening, so Francesco Totti, Douglas Maicon and Alessandro Florenzi were rested.

“No game is won before it kicks off and so I liked seeing Roma totally concentrated on Serie A and tonight’s game. I hope nothing happens before next Sunday, as I don’t want distractions.”

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