AS Roma manager Paulo Fonseca has said that Edin Dzeko remains a valuable player in the club’s ranks despite the ongoing speculation regarding his future. The Bosnia international has been linked with a potential move to Inter Milan this summer but so far, the Nerazzurri have not been able to convince the Giallorossi into a transfer agreement.
Italian footballer Alberto Aquilani has called quits to his professional playing career at the age of 34. The midfielder had been without a club following his release from Las Palmas 12 months ago and he has now eventually called time on his career to take up a different challenge outside of the playing field.
“After a period of reflection, I think the time has come for me to hang up the boots on that peg we all hate,” he was quoted as saying by Roma’s official website. “But the time comes for everyone. And now the time has come to follow new paths – different in their day-to-day aspects, but still new challenges in their own way. I took my time to decide the best option. But, despite the many offers that came in, I think the time has come to say ‘enough’.”
AS Roma’s interim boss Claudio Ranieri has refused to speak on the prospect of securing a permanent managerial role with the Giallorossi at the end of the season. The Italian was appointed at the helm in March after the sacking of Eusebio di Francesco and he has since helped the team stay aloft in the race for the Serie A crown.
Speaking to reporters, Ranieri indicated that the club are fighting hard to make the top four in the standings but they need to show more focus and intelligence during the final four games of the season, he said: “You always have to respect the opposition. The lads are working hard in the fight for fourth. We'd be stupid to underestimate the game. Cagliari never give up, they're having a strong finish to the campaign. We need to be intelligent and focused.”
Antonio Conte is believed to be willing to take charge at Manchester United and is waiting for the opportunity.
Conte has not coached any team for the last 12 months or so, but he is likely to start working soon and he already has a number of job offers on the table, most of which are from his own country Italy, but as per the reports, the 49-year old wants to coach in the English top tier and he sees Manchester United as a potential job destination.
Inter Milan chief Beppe Marotta has leaped into the defence of Luciano Spalletti following the Nerazzurri’s disappointing exit in the Europa League. The Serie A giants were one of the favourites to reach the semi-final stage of the competition but they bowed out at the last 16 phase after a shock 1-0 aggregate defeat at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt.
Following the game, there have suggestions that Spalletti’s position could be under threat but Marotta has clarified that the coach can’t take the entire blame for the team’s poor showing during the second leg where they suffered a 1-0 defeat in front of their supporters, he said: “The coach has nothing to do with it, difficulties arise objectively regardless of the name of the coach. With him we must reach this important goal. I consider Inter in a phase of corporate growth.”
Italy national team manager Roberto Mancini has challenged Mario Balotelli to reclaim his place in the Italian national team. The controversial striker has become something of a forgotten man, but he is still in the prime of his career at 28 years of age. After having come through the youth ranks at Inter Milan, his immense talent earned him a move to Manchester City where he was united with Mancini. The three years at Etihad Stadium was quite interesting for Balotelli, who clearly had the talent for becoming one of the greatest players but he was let down by his detrimental attitude.
Since then, he has represented clubs like AC Milan, Liverpool, and Nice. Recently, he made the switch to Marseille and has made a major impact by scoring three goals in just four games for the team. These goals for the French team, who are challenging for a European spot, has made Balotelli hit the headlines after several years. The striker made his debut for the Italian national team back in 2010 and he has since featured in 36 games for Italy. His return of 14 goals in these matches is quite good for a forward. Mancini does not appear to have forgotten his great ties with Balotelli and has challenged the striker to make a return to national team football.
The Champions League is back with a key fixture which sees last year semifinalists AS Roma face Portuguese side FC Porto in a round of 16 clash on Tuesday. Roma came second behind Real Madrid in the group stages while Porto won their group ahead of Schalke 04.
Roma have endured a disappointing campaign so far in Serie A and lie a point behind AC Milan in the race for the last Champions League slot. However, a comprehensive 3-0 victory away to Chievo on Friday provides the perfect tonic for the side ahead of the match.
Roma’s Coach Eusebio Di Francesco is not a coach known for tweaking his team and the lineup is not expected to experience too many changes. Mirante is expected to be in goal as first choice goalkeeper Robin Olsen is currently injured.
Paul Merson reckons that Tottenham Hotspur in the recent London derby managed to expose the Gunners’ new sensation Jorginho who, in that game, appears as if he was Alberto Aquilani.
Aquilani’s case is well known to everyone who follows the Premier League. When he made the switch from Italy to UK and landed at Anfield, everybody was talking about him as he was tipped to be the next Premier League superstar. But he couldn’t do any bit of justice to the reputation he had come up with and proved to be mighty inconsistent for the Reds.
Italy international Matteo Politano has said that Inter Milan will focus on winning the final Champions League game against PSV Eindhoven next month following the club’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in midweek. The Nerazzurri had a three-point advantage coming into Wednesday night’s game versus Spurs but that was, however, nullified with the north London side bagging the sole goal through Christian Eriksen off the bench.
Speaking after the game, Politano acknowledged that the club were expecting a difficult encounter against Spurs and they were eventually left disappointed after conceding during the dying stages of the encounter, he said: “We knew that today’s match would be a very difficult one with Tottenham at their best. We played well in the first half when we did not concede much, in the second half it felt like we controlled the game, when all of a sudden their goal came out of the blue.”
AS Roma goalkeeper Roman Olsen has revealed his delight after bagging his first Serie A clean sheet for the Giallorossi.
The Capital outfit have endured a slow start to the season with just two wins from their opening six matches and the most recent came in midweek where they sealed a comfortable 4-0 win over newcomers Frosinone.