Kostas Manolas has spoken to Premium Sport about both his future and that of team-mate Radja Nainggolan. Both players have been linked with summer moves away from Roma, but Manolas stressed that his own future is entirely in the Giallorossi’s hands and that the directors know what they need to do if they want to keep him.
Kostas Manolas’ agent, Ioannis Evangelopoulos, has told tuttomercatoweb.com that it is up to Roma whether or not they sell the Greek defender in the summer. Manolas has been heavily linked with a lucrative transfer to Inter or the Premier League, but Evangelopoulos underlines that his client will go along with whatever the club decide.
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.
Corriere della Sera (Gianluca Piacentini) Fans’ chants against Napoli’s supporters, sung by a section of the stadium during last Saturday’s match at the Olimpico, have cost Roma €10,000. “Territorial denigration” was the explanation given by the Giudice Sportivo: technically a correct punishment, by the letter of the law, but it is in stark contrast to the lack of punishment given to Lazio fans after their racist booing of Rudiger – which was noticed by the authorities – during the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final.
Speaking to the media after Napoli’s Champions League defeat to Real Madrid on Tuesday night, Dries Mertens apologised to Roma’s supporters for how he celebrated his first goal against the Giallorossi last weekend in the Partenopei’s 2-1 win at the Olimpico.
Il Corriere della Sera (Luca Valdiserri) One game can change an entire season and, perhaps, even the future. Saturday’s head to head for 2nd place sees Roma and Napoli go into their respective European ties with differing states of mind (and fitness). In 4 days, Roma have lost at the Olimpico against Lazio (1st leg of the Coppa Italia semi final) and the Partenopei. They hadn’t lost at home in the league since 29th November, 2015 (Roma 0-2 Atalanta), when Rudi Garcia – apparently the root cause of all the team’s problems – was still the coach. Thursday evening’s match in Lyon (1st leg of the Europa League Round of 16) is now their last hope. They need to keep their hopes alive of not having another season of good results but “zeru tituli“. Spalletti needs to find the real Roma again, particularly physically, and quickly.