La Gazzetta dello Sport (Andrea Pugliese) There are 2 people who both enjoy smoking cigarettes and turning a profit on players. Yesterday the first – Walter Sabatini – spoke about Roma again, and the second will be in charge of the Giallorossi from next June. The new sporting director (barring a major U-turn) will be Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo, better known to everyone as Monchi – the man who has worked miracles at Sevilla, winning 5 Europa Leagues/UEFA Cups, 1 Super Cup, 2 Copa del Rey and 1 Spanish Supercopa in 16 years.
Monchi met Franco Baldini and Alex Zecca in London in the week before the derby, and they came to a general agreement during their meeting. Pallotta then joined them for another dinner, again in London, when Monchi gave his agreement that he would join the Giallorossi in June, when he will (finally) leave Sevilla. The 48 year old Spanish sporting director has spent most of his life with the Biancorossi both as a player (he played in goal for them for 10 years) and working behind the scenes, and wanted to leave the club last summer to follow Emery to PSG (who are still keeping tabs on the situation). However, since he had another year to run on his contract and his release clause was fixed at €5m, he was forced to stay at Sevilla.
Monchi is considered to be the king of sporting directors in Spain, and he couldn’t not be given that he has made almost €300m profits on his players. His view is that “No fan will ever thank you for the money you bring in, but you have to know how to win and how to reinvest. Otherwise you’re just a shop, not a club loved by its fans.” And he knows how to be successful, bringing in vast sums of money for some of the club’s youth players, such as Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid, €27m), Navas (Manchester City, €20m), Reyes (Arsenal, €20m) and Moreno (Liverpool, €18m), and turning huge profits on those he has signed, like Dani Alves (€500,000, sold to Barcelona for €35.5m), Julio Baptista (€3.5m, sold to Real Madrid for €20m), Kondogbia (€4m, sold to Monaco for €20m), Rakitic (€2.5m, sold to Barcelona for €18m) and Bacca (€7m, sold to Milan for €30m). He discovered Perotti (bought from Deportivo Moron for €200,000) and sold Fazio to Tottenham (€10m). How does he do it? His team of 15 people select a number of leagues and players to watch on various occasions, then in April he and the coach sit down to evaluate his list of 150-200 players.
Yesterday, meanwhile, Sabatini spoke about Gerson (“He’s doing what he needs to do, he’ll get his chance. If he doesn’t succeed at Roma, I’ll sign him for my next club when I start working again”), Emerson (“I’ve always thought he was a good player”) and Dzeko (“He hasn’t scored for 3 games, he needs to sort himself out…”). He finished with a final word on Pallotta: “Who’s that?” He couldn’t have made himself much clearer.