Friday June 10 2011
What to expect from the new Roma

New Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini has revealed the club's plans for the future under Thomas Di Benedetto and discussed the transfer market.

Sabatini held a Press conference earlier today in which he explained what direction the club would be taking once American businessman Di Benedetto officially takes control of the outfit.

"I don't like to talk about projects as they don't exist in football. All that exists is working on a daily basis," the official noted.

"We know what we want to do and we'll do it. Di Benedetto wants to win the championship and he says we will, but that won't happen straight away."

Sabatini has been asked to construct a new side, but he confirmed that he will soon be joined by Franco Baldini – a former Roma employee who currently assists Fabio Capello with England.

"I asked the club for a one year contract and that is what they gave me. I shouldn't be a weight for this club. They need to be in a position to decide and choose agreements if we work well.

"Baldini will be here in the next few months once he has resolved his contract with England. As soon as he is free then he will return to Rome."

One of the first decisions which has already been made by the evolving Giallorossi is the appointment of Luis Enrique as Coach.

"We got Luis Enrique because we want to play a different type of football. It's something new and a courageous choice, but a choice that I would make again," Sabatini added.

"We monitored dozens of Coaches, including the likes of Klopp, Garcia, Pioli and Giampaolo – all of whom are excellent, but Luis Enrique accepted and he was our first choice.

"He is not inferior to Porto's Villas Boas."

With the managerial issue now resolved, Sabatini will turn his attention to buying and selling to make the team stronger.

"Luis is very happy with the squad as it is now, although it is obvious that he has asked for changes," he continued.

"The problem for Roma is not the value of the players, but the age of them. We'll look to lower the average age of the side.

"I've not been given a budget, I've been given a freedom to work on the market. We'll talk in the next few days to understand what we can do."

Roma have been linked with River Plate's Argentine youngster Erik Lamela.

"I admit that he is an excellent player and that I would like to bring him here. If he doesn't arrive though then I will sign somebody like him."

Turning to players who could be sold, Sabatini discussed the futures of Mirko Vucinic, Jeremy Menez and Marco Borriello.

"Vucinic is a great player. I need to speak with him, also about his positioning on the pitch. We'll have a Coach with a specific system that the players will have to adapt to.

"Menez will have to accept that the Coach will use him in a certain way. If he does that then he will stay.

"Borriello is a problem. He's a very good player. Last season was split into two for him – very good at the start and then less so. I'll need to discuss things with him."

The former Palermo official also commented on Roma icons Daniele De Rossi, who is after a contract extension, and Francesco Totti.

"De Rossi has to stay. Roma are certainly stronger with him," Sabatini said.

"Totti will be at the centre of the project. Roma will be modelled around him. Totti is timeless, he's like the light over the rooftops of Rome. The light still goes on, spreads.

"He had been painted as tired and lame, but he goes on the pitch and weakens the opposition. He is the captain and will make an important contribution to building the future of this club."

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