Radja Nainggolan has never been afraid to speak his mind. The Roma midfielder, talking to a group of fans, has said that he “hates Juventus” and has guaranteed that the Giallorossi will end their trophy drought this season. The midfielder’s quotes follow, watch the video (in Italian) below.
Il Tempo (Tiziano Carmellini) It’s OK to dream, and it’s free. Roma followed up their positive start to the year with another crucial three points away in Udine, but most of all they made the most of Juventus’ slip up as the league leaders were defeated by Sousa’s side in Florence. The defeat showed that, after all the effort that they have put into recent games, Juventus (like all great sides) can be beaten and the leaders now find themselves in a slightly more fragile position.
Il Tempo (Adriano Serafini) The pair of them tried to carry Roma on their own, spurring on their team-mates and stopping the team from collapsing during the most delicate points of the game. They raised the overall standard of the team, but it wasn’t enough to help them get anything from the match. Of Nainggolan and Szczesny, it was the Polish goalkeeper who was clearly the more bitter of the two during the post-match interviews.
Il Messaggero (Stefano Carina) Still no sign of progress. Neither Nainggolan, Manolas, Strootman, Spalletti nor De Rossi have seen their respective contractual situations move forward, regardless of how urgent it is to agree on new terms. Whether it’s just a renewal or a pay rise, their situations are the same as they were at the start of the summer.
La Gazzetta dello Sport (Chiara Zucchelli) Rehearsals before the African Cup of Nations? It may be too soon to tell, but even so, during yesterday’s friendly at Trigoria against the Primavera, Luciano Spalletti may have given the first indication of his plans when he used a 3-4-3 formation against Alberto De Rossi’s team. Perotti played more on the right hand side of the attack than El Shaarawy – il Faraone was therefore able to play on his preferred wing, and that is probably not just a coincidence. Just as it may not have been a coincidence that Spalletti continued to insist on playing a 3 (and a half) man defence, which could be entrenched as Roma’s Plan A now that Rudiger has returned to full fitness.
The wage bill has never been so low, which will sound bad but it is in fact music to the ears of those at Trigoria. It might not last long, because contract renewals will raise the bar again, but this is how it is: Roma have reduced their wage bill to just under €92m following the last transfer window. That has never happened before under James Pallotta. The reasons for this aren’t many and are primarily down to meeting Financial Fair Play targets and a result of missing out on income from the Champions League.
Luciano Spalletti has spoken in depth about Roma’s transfer plans for this summer, discussing potential signings, the difficulty of keeping players signed on loan last summer and who he hopes to keep at the club following Miralem Pjanic’s departure.