Roma to change coach for 14th time in 14 years as Luciano Spalletti packs his bags

Il Tempo (Alessandro Austini) Another one goes. Roma will change their coach for the 14th time in 14 seasons, an average of once a year. This time it’s Spalletti who is packing his bags once again, with the same feeling of having left something unfinished as he had when he departed 2 games into the season in 2009. As was the case then, the Tuscan is leaving because he doesn’t feel as supported by the club as he should be. Whether it’s been in how he has handled the difficult situation of Totti’s final season, in the transfer market, in his relations with the outside world, Spalletti accuses Roma of leaving him isolated.


Meanwhile the ‘truth’ according to the club’s directors is an entirely different story. In Totti’s case, last season should have been the captain’s last as a player, but Spalletti – by clashing with Francesco – reignited a fire that had almost died out, which had all sorts of consequences (including positive ones) and which forced Pallotta to allow Totti to continue as a player for another year. As for the January transfer window, Spalletti first asked for a central midfielder, then blocked the signing of Defrel (“we’re fine as we are”), before finally, after Florenzi’s injury, going back to lamenting the size of his squad. The truth, as often happens, is somewhere in between, but by that point the coach had decided to leave and Roma also believed that it was best for them to part ways. In order not to start next season with both parties sharing doubts.

Sabatini has selected Spalletti as his first choice after Conte to take charge at Inter, and if he doesn’t get a positive response from London by the end of the week (Chelsea play in the FA Cup final on Saturday) he will contact Luciano to discuss terms. The former Giallorossi sporting director will then leave for China next week with clearer ideas to put forward to Suning. Included in these plans will be his request to appoint Ricky Massara as his right hand man again. However, Massara has already established an excellent relationship with Monchi and Roma consider his contract renewal to be a formality, so it will be up to Ricky to decide. If his heart prevails over his head, he will work with Sabatini again. The new Giallorossi sporting director already has a contingency plan: Miguel Angel Gomez is ready to leave Sevilla and reunite with Monchi, who returned from ‘his’ Spanish city yesterday.

A new coach is Roma’s priority. At the moment Di Francesco seems to be in pole position, but nothing has been decided yet. The truth is that, beyond the contacts made by the various intermediaries, Eusebio hasn’t met the Giallorossi directors. On Saturday he will tell Squinzi that he intends to leave Sassuolo and expects that he will be allowed to leave and that his €3 million release clause will be waived. In the meantime, he is hoping to receive a phone call from Roma, who are currently evaluating other targets. Almost all of whom are Italian.


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