Luciano Spalletti says he wants Francesco Totti at Roma next season, after the skipper took matters into his own hands to dismiss reports of a feud between the pair.
Totti released a statement on Saturday saying that Roma fans should be united by his recent exploits on the pitch in a season in which he has struggled for regular action, much to supporters’ disappointment, with his contract expiring at the end of the campaign.
In just his ninth league outing of the season on Wednesday, 39-year-old Totti emerged from the bench with Roma trailing Torino in the 86th minute but the captain’s last-gasp double turned the game on its head as the capital club won 3-2.
Totti posted on Roma’s official website: “My goals helped the team and the club I’ve always loved to win the game. That should unite people, not divide.”
With a decision on Totti’s future yet to be made, Spalletti hinted that he would like to see the one-club man remain at the Stadio Olimpico.
“I appreciated that message very much, it was the message of a real captain,” Spalletti told reporters. “Totti is a resource for us in whatever role he takes.”
On Totti’s contract, Spalletti added: “I’ve gone into this situation many times and don’t want to continue saying the same things. We are all up for debate, we all have an objective that we want to achieve. We go forward along this path.
“First of all, I am forced to deal with a rivalry that does not exist. I merely made the decisions that belong to my role. It’s something to be discussed at the end of the season.
“I will be very happy if next year Francesco does what he loves to do. I will be at his side as he seeks the role that he will have next year.
“I always made it clear and I feel monotonous saying it again, the issue of the contract renewal is between [president James] Pallotta and Francesco. We ought to have all our focus on this extraordinary Champions League objective.”