Walter Sabatini discussed Roma’s transfer strategy following Mohamed Salah’s injury, dealing with Juan Manuel Iturbe and Leandro Castan.
The director of sport was at the presentation of a book about Nils Liedholm’s Roma squad and spoke to assembled reporters.
“Mehdi Benatia? He is a Bayern Munich player and will continue there. We trust our lads. I’ve already said we’ve got Castan back and I want you to remember his existence.
“He has suffered, but we do expect more from him. He is bridging the gap and I hope you remember who he is and what he can still be for Roma.
“We also have Kostas Manolas and Antonio Rudiger. Behind them Castan is returning, then there’s the poor shelved Norbert Gyomber, who you haven’t even seen play yet. He has height, pace and professionalism, but nobody realised he exists.
“Rudi Garcia makes choices you might not agree with, but they are the responsibility of the Coach.”
Salah sprained his ankle during the Derby della Capitale against Lazio and will be out for several weeks.
“Roma will not go back on the market because we don’t need to. Salah’s injury does cause us huge problems, even though we have faith in Iago Falque and Iturbe.
“We do need to improve and some signs have already emerged. The win over Lazio was not spectacular, but it was taken very seriously and the squad controlled the game with a new-found maturity. We hope it can be repeated.”
Iturbe already had a deal to join Genoa over the summer when Sabatini suddenly pulled the plug, but could that be revived?
“I told Iturbe to play the way he did when he was a child, to not get trapped in the tactical plan. He needs to play adolescent football, to shake off the responsibility on his shoulders that you reporters put on to him.
“Iturbe won’t leave in January, unless he is the one who wants to go.”
Seydou Doumbia has rediscovered his mojo on loan at his old club CSKA Moscow.
“They don’t want to buy him permanently, but someone certainly will,” noted Sabatini.
“We have a basic agreement with a Chinese club, but hope to get more money for him.”
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