Friday May 6 2016
Sabatini: 'Italians not worthy of Roma'

Sporting director Walter Sabatini claims young Italians aren't good enough for Roma, while Francesco Totti 'deserves a new contract'.

The Giallorossi have less and less home nationals in their starting XI, with only Stephan El Shaarawy and Alessandro Florenzi among the consistent starters.

“Look, just today I was asking my scouts to find some valid Italians, from Serie A down to the lowest tiers,” Sabatini said, as reported by the Gazzetta dello Sport. “We examined them, and it was a disaster.

“There are no such players, at Roma they would end up being on the margins. People say that we only buy abroad because we get financial bonuses out of it. That's just talk.

“Who are the only valid young Italians? [Fiorentina's Federico] Bernardeschi, perhaps [Milan's Alessio] Romagnoli, but I suspect [joint-CEO Adriano] Galliani would show some resistance.

“But we'll confirm [Stephan] El Shaarawy. He deserves it and he has a great future. The cost [€13m] isn't too high.

“We'll find a place for all of our strikers. [Juan] Iturbe will definitely come back. With Adem [Ljajic], the renewal won't be a problem, I already have an agreement with his agent.

“[Seydou] Doumbia had many offers last year, but now things are more complicated because he made the mistake of going to Newcastle. The Premier League is not his championship.”

One of Roma's most notable stories this season was the resurgence of Francesco Totti, after many believed this would be his last season.

“With his recent performances he invalidated any argument. He deserves a new contract.

“I was against, when a champion hangs up his boots it's better for him to be a young director than an old footballer.

“The last few games he played have something supernatural about them. Of course, a new season could be hard. In any case there's [Coach Luciano] Spalletti behind his work as well. If he hadn't been stimulated this way, I don't think he'd have put in such games.”

“[Goalkeeper Wojciech] Szczesny? I haven't discussed his future with Arsenal, but the demands for him aren't acceptable.

“We'll discuss the renewal of his loan, not a full-on purchase. He may have some clashes with Alisson, but it's hard to loan him out. We're talking about the starting goalkeeper for Brazil.”

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