Wednesday June 15 2016
Spalletti: 'Nainggolan promised'

Roma Coach Luciano Spalletti urged fans not to “attack” Miralem Pjanic for the Juventus move, but “Radja Nainggolan gave his word.”

The tactician spoke to Sky Sport Italia and TMW Radio after Pjanic activated his release clause in order to join their arch rivals in Turin.

“It’s a very simple situation, what are we meant to discuss when there are contract clauses?” said Spalletti.

“This world is open now, where everyone can choose what they want. If he signed the contract with those clauses, it means he was open to a change.

“Pjanic was an important player for us and he will be for Juventus, but he remains a truly exceptional guy and there’s no point attacking him as a person. He is an exceptional professional.

“We lost an important player, but we have another like Kevin Strootman who is about to get back to his best after injury problems.”

Chelsea continue to push for Nainggolan and there are fears Antonio Conte will eventually convince him to make the move.

“Clearly we are penalised by Pjanic’s departure and the injury to Antonio Rudiger. Radja is a man of his word and he promised me he will stay.

“I spoke to him and he seemed enthusiastic about continuing to give us his contribution next season.

“We must build on the collective and the style of football, as that allows you to beat anyone. Right now we need to work on the defence, as for various reasons we’re losing Lucas Digne, Maicon and Rudiger.

“The priority is also to find an alternative to Alessandro Florenzi on the right.”

Spalletti was asked about some of the transfer targets that Roma are linked with.

“Mario Rui proved he is a player who belongs at a big club. He isn’t very tall, but can make up for it with character. Nacho? He’s an interesting young player, along with (director of sport Walter) Sabatini we are ‘watching’ him.

“We’re trying to keep hold of Wojciech Szczesny, even if there isn’t a goalkeeping problem, considering we’ve signed Alisson. Morgan De Sanctis will probably continue to be part of our squad.

“Axel Witsel? He’s a very good player, but an expensive one.”

Despite a debut Serie A season with more misses than hits, Spalletti is standing by Edin Dzeko.

“We are focusing on him next season, as he has qualities that so far he hasn’t been able to express yet. We care for him and want to find the potential he had before he came to Roma.”

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: