Walter Sabatini: Roma Won’t Negotiate For Pjanic, No Problems With Totti Renewal

Roma’s sporting director Walter Sabatini spoke to on Tuesday during the Renato Cesarini awards where he spoke about a wide range of issues concerning the Giallorossi.

Di Francesco has said that Sassuolo have already signed Politano permanently

There is a counter option.

So you will sign him back?

Do you want us to bring him back? (laughs) Do you like him? I do, very much so.

I like him more than Iturbe…

Iturbe is 23 years old and has been through a lot of difficulties. He’ll come back to Roma now and then we’ll see. This issue of players being constantly loaned out is really a bit of a farce. You have to give players a path to follow.

I watch the Primavera, and I thought Pellegrini should have been sixth choice midfielder instead of Keita, even though he is a fantastic player

Could Pellegrini have played like Keita when he played those 10 games in a row?

I’m just asking why you send all our youngsters away

But which ones have we given away?

Well Pellegrini has a buyback clause of 8m…

Are you saying that Roma don’t have the money to buy players who have been around here since the age of 5? You put players out onto the circuit and try to allow them to get experience in Serie A, it may then be that you get one of them back but not another, maybe you get all of them back. We have agreements to bring them back. Roma make investments for the future.

Ucan could have gone out on loan

But he stayed in Rome.

What do you think of Bertolacci and Romagnoli at Milan?

They’re two excellent players.

I thought you really pulled off a scam with those two…

They’re players that they valued.


Italian football has a lot of Diawaras.

Could there be a Diawara-Sabatini swap?

I was born in 1955, he in 1997 – Roma would be gaining half a century.

You only talk about players who are leaving, what about those coming in?

Listen to you. We’re trying to keep players at Roma but that’s not enough any more, you keep jumping from argument to argument.  We have a good team, it’s an acceptable side, have you seen them play? You’re asking me ‘which players are we buying’, 30 seconds ago you asked me about which players we’d be trying to retain. We aren’t buying anyone, this team seems fine as it is, no?

What about a full back…

We have a full back.

[A fan arrives] I’m a Milan fan, will you give El Shaarawy back to us or are you keeping him?

We’re keeping him.



Then we’ll be in Serie B next season…

Will Florenzi be the starting full back?

You can’t seriously say that he’s wasted in that role.

Is it true that you’ve signed [Moustapha] Seck?

I can’t really say, but I think so.

This team only really needs small additions, in addition to keeping key players

There will definitely be additions. We’ll also try to keep back some players who we already own.

Like Ricci?

For instance, yes – those players that are currently loaned out by us.

Paredes, Sanabria…

All the guys will come back, then we’ll see what the coach wants to say.


He’s doing a lot better. In fact I’d say he’s doing very well.

He’d be a good player to have back

We’ve also recovered Strootman.

How many calls has Benatia made to come back to Rome?

Benatia hasn’t made them, people make calls on his behalf. I don’t think Bayern will let him leave that easily though.

Can it be said that Manolas is the better player now?

Manolas is good, really good, as is Rudiger – Sacchi admitted as much recently.


Dortmund have paid a lot of money for him, he’s a very good player.

On Totti, can you say that it’s not a question of money?

It’s not a question of money. It’s a general issue tied to his future as a director. He wants a sparkling future as his career as a player has been, but it’s also partly down to him. Totti’s contract isn’t a problem.

Pallotta has spoken about a generous offer and not understanding why he hasn’t accepted…

Generosity is complex, offers aren’t just about money but also about other things, like his role, about the respect shown and so forth. He will always have a very important role at Roma, we’ve guaranteed this to him and he’s given his guarantees to Pallotta. I don’t see an issue. There can’t be a problem.

Will De Rossi stay for this last year of his contract?

He’ll certainly stay.

Who do you think has been your biggest let down as a signing?

I’d never say that one of my player’s isn’t a good player.

So if I suggest Jose Angel?

A good player.


He’s a player who could have played for Roma at another time. 150 players have come in and out, I’d say only 20 have failed…

Isn’t that too many?

It’s a good number, 20-25 players. That’s acceptable.

Who is the player who you’ve been most disappointed with? Stekelenburg? Osvaldo?

Osvaldo was a huge disappointment as a person because as a player he’s formidable. He was a slave to his own personality.

Has Dzeko been a disappointment?

When he was able to, he’s been contributing, but to leave him out was a legitimate choice by the coach because it’s only natural that someone has to sit on the bench while the team is scoring three goals a game. But if you consider that Dzeko has scored 10 goals while being in and out of the team, it’s not been so bad overall.

What about Doumbia? Even I’ve bought quick fixes before…

We’ve bought many before, but he wasn’t one. When we sent Doumbia out on loan, he went on to score 5 or 6 goals in the Champions League.

But at Newcastle he’s never played

He wanted to go there at all costs, I knew that it would be just a temporary fix. He went there because he had a strong attraction to that sort of football after scoring in the Champions League in Manchester.

Will Florenzi definitely be full back? Couldn’t he be the first reserve for the forwards?

Florenzi would never want to be a back up. The people of Rome would never want him to be a reserve either, it would create unimaginable conflict.

Are the club slaves to what the fans think then?

Not us. I’m not a slave to anyone. But have you seen what Florenzi has done at full back? You should go and look at other full backs’ performances.

We conceded 41 goals

Is that Florenzi’s fault?

No, I mean what’s necessary to improve the defence in general?

We’ve conceded 15-20% more goals, but we have to improve as a team rather than just as a defence. It’s a pleasure to watch Florenzi at full back, he can turn the play around in 30 seconds, he can cross, dribble with the ball – he gives something extra to the team. Why is it people don’t get it? Because some idiot has said otherwise. Florenzi can produce excellent football from full back, sometimes he gets into trouble with an opponent but so what? So does Abate, so do other full backs.

Do you rate Mario Gaspar?


What do you make of Gerson’s father’s comments?

He’s a charlatan, who I couldn’t care less about. I bought the son, not the father.

Pjanic to Juventus?

Juventus are dreaming about him. I’ve never offered Pjanic to Juventus.

What about if Juventus asked for him?

Pjanic has a release clause. Roma won’t negotiate for Pjanic, but if someone meets the release clause…

Is the clause valid for Italian teams too?


Is Sampaoli going to Lazio?

He’s not going there.

Original article by F.Biafora and E.Bandini for – read in Italian here.


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