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.
Il Tempo (Erika Menghi) “The pizza was good” was the only ‘verdict’ given by Pallotta after trying to convince Spalletti to stay at Roma over dinner. But the focus of the meal at the pizzeria San Marco was the coach’s future, and now the key will be determining whether the meeting was a success. It wasn’t a decisive meeting, because despite the smiles and the relaxed faces of those who took part, there remained a deep silence that suggested no decision had been made. Essentially, it was more of an open discussion than a meeting that necessitated definitive answers. “It was a good evening,” the coach said as he left the restaurant, climbing into Massara’s car – not a word more.
Corriere Dello Sport (Guido D’Ubaldo) Radja Nainggolan is a man of his word. From the Belgium training camp, he has asked the club not to sell him. He is one of the jewels in the crown who risk being sold in the next transfer window, but he’s already made his choice, which is a lifestyle choice. “I’m very happy in Rome, my family is happy and the weather is usually good as well. Sometimes choices are made for money, others are made for the quality of life, and that’s important for me as it’s something you can’t replicate somewhere else. What’s more, if I was to go and play in England I’d have to start again from scratch, when I’m currently very happy in Rome. You never know what can happen in the future though.” Nainggolan is waiting for a call from Roma to improve his contract and thereby lower the possibility of going to earn a lot more in China, but he certainly isn’t lacking offers. “I’m not thinking about it at the moment, but you can never say no at this point. You have to evaluate it at the right time.” His agent Alessandro Beltrami is in close contact with the Giallorossi directors, who have assured him that they will honour their promise of an improved contract, even though there’s no urgent rush given that his contract expires in 2020. Up until now there has been no call from them, but Nainggolan is open to earning a lower wage than he is being offered in England in order to stay at Roma. He is also happy to wait until the end of the season to hear from the club. He wants to win at Roma, he has an excellent relationship with Spalletti, who is unable to do without him. The 2 got along immediately and the connection between them goes beyond the football pitch: they are 2 strong characters who get along perfectly. Continue reading
Corriere dello Sport (Alberto Polverosi) The bottom 4 teams in Serie A are in a league of their own. If Empoli, who have picked up 1 point in the least 8 games, still have a 7 point lead over Palermo and 8 over Crotone, 18th and 19th in the table respectively, it means that there is very little quality below them. But, if we continue to look at Empoli, there’s still something (someone) that can be rescued from this tense and laboured season. That is Lukasz Skorupski, who turns 26 in May, the Polish goalkeeper currently in his 2nd season with the Tuscan club, his 1st with Martusciello after the one under Giampaolo. If they avoid relegation, he will celebrate setting a historic record with Empoli: the Azzurri have never before remained in Serie A for 4 seasons in a row. And if they achieve it, a large part of the achievement is down to him. For the penalties, but also for his performances in an excellent season.
La Repubblica (Matteo Pinci) Pallotta and Spalletti are growing increasingly distant. Geographically, at least, given that the coach – shortly after 9.00 yesterday morning – left on a train bound for Tuscany, where he will stay until Thursday. Given that it is the international break, the coach has allowed his exhausted squad 3 days off, which will also allow the coach to calm his nerves. Whoever is expecting a big meeting between the 2 will be disappointed though. No meetings have been scheduled, and time is running short for them to sit down and talk. The president will leave again on Friday, so he and the coach should meet the day before: this is what is being suggested in the corridors of Trigoria.
Corriere della Sera (Luca Valdisseri) Luciano Spalletti, when he’s talking about football and not being hounded by an unhappy press, is almost always right. And when you compare to what he was able to bring to the Roma side that dominated their Champions League tie against an infinitely stronger Lyon side than this one, he wasn’t wrong when – on the eve of the game – he said that he had “become worse at everything”. That Roma side, in 2007, was spectacular and won 2-0 with goals from Totti and Amantino Mancini. This current side were beaten 4-2 in their Europa League Round of 16 first leg, bursting like a balloon in the second half after having gone in 2-1 up at half time.
Il Tempo (Adriano Serafini) A nightmare week, which has reawoken all the demons of the past. Their third consecutive defeat now threatens their European adventure, which could have provided a tired and demoralised team with the energy needed to keep going. It’s a question of maturity, but Roma aren’t able to answer it. At the end of the game, Spalletti didn’t try to hide it either. “We need to put a few things right and talk to each other clearly and in detail. I’m sure we can turn this result around in the second leg, but if we want to do it then we have to change some things. We can’t do it like that.” Like an unsolved problem that rears its head again when you least expect it, the coach was forced to face the same frustrations as he has in the past as his players failed to keep their heads from dropping. “When things go well for us we come out of our shells and express ourselves, but when things go the other way we are players that are very clean in nature.”