Corriere dello Sport (Guido D’Ubaldo) Monchi is virtually on the road that leads to Trigoria. He has already confided to some of his closest colleagues what sort of Roma he wants to build, starting off with his evaluation of the many youngsters the Giallorossi own, with the aim of building a squad that knows how to play a spectacular style of football. Monchi hasn’t yet made his move to Roma official, and nor have the Giallorossi directors (even if there are positive noises coming from some of them) but on Tuesday afternoon, during a director’s meeting, the Spanish sporting director announced to Sevilla that in the summer he will be ending his time at the club where he has spent his entire career as a director.
Since yesterday then, Monchi is officially available and the question of the release clause will be easily resolved: the sporting director wants to leave the club he owes a great deal to on good terms, so an amicable solution will be found. Yesterday Sevilla’s president, José Castro, spoke again about his relationship with the renowned sporting director, who met James Pallotta and his advisor Franco Baldini some months ago to discuss his potential future with the Giallorossi. Castro said: “Monchi is working for Sevilla as he always has. This is an individual situation, but the collective must come first – we’ll get out of this crisis. We’ll see what happens with Monchi at the end of the season, we have other priorities right now. Sevilla is much more important than Monchi, than me and than everyone else we could talk about.” The difficult situation currently surrounding the club won’t make it an easy separation, but Castro has already identified Monchi’s successor: the 51 year old Oscar Arias Suarez, the man who was at the Olimpico for Roma-Fiorentina and who told the sporting director about the atmosphere created by the Giallorossi fans in the stadium (when the barriers hadn’t yet been lowered).
Some people are already concerned about whether Monchi and his strong personality will get along with Luciano Spalletti, who has an equally strong character. But Pallotta is doing everything he can to convince the Tuscan coach to accept a contract extension. In his meeting on Tuesday with Frederic Massara and the other directors, he may have asked the current sporting director to bring the Spaniard to Italy. Massara will have the choice of whether he stays or not, initially to provide support and guidance for a director who is coming from another league, and then to continue to scout for youngsters as he did with Sabatini. The rejuvenated Roma should start off with Franck Kessie and Lorenzo Pellegrini in midfield, while Matteo Darmian’s name has been suggested again for the defence – the Giallorossi already tried buying him last summer – while Grégoire Defrel (who the Giallorossi made a bid for in January) remains a target for the attack. Sales will also have to be made though. Kostas Manolas is very close to Inter, with the potential fee somewhere between €35m and €40m.