Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Totti to retire at end of season, says Monchi

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 3 May 2017


New Roma sporting director Monchi has claimed that Francesco Totti will retire at the end of this season.

The club captain and Italy great will become a director at Stadio Olimpico from 2017-18 onwards, Monchi has said.

“In terms of Totti, I already knew that there was an agreement with the club that this would be his final year as a player, then he’d start as a director,” said the former Sevilla director, who was presented in his new role with Roma on Wednesday.

“Francesco is Roma, I want to be as close to him as possible. I’d love to learn even one per cent of the huge amount that he knows.”

However, there is yet to be any confirmation from the player himself over his plans for next season.

The 40-year-old’s future has been the subject of speculation throughout 2016-17 amid mixed messages from within the club.

General manager Mauro Baldissoni claimed before the derby defeat to Lazio on Sunday that Totti had agreed a contract to become a director from next season, although the player himself appeared to deny that anything had been decided.

“Somebody else might be saying that but not me,” said Totti, who is also reported to have told photographers “relax, it’s not my last derby!” after Roma’s 3-1 loss.

In February, head coach Luciano Spalletti said he would step down in protest if Totti was not offered a new deal to continue playing.

“It is only right that his contract is renewed. Totti doesn’t have a contract with this club, he has a pact of love with this city, and this is something that has to continue,” he said.

“I will go even further: if they send him away at the end of the season then I am not staying, not even if I win the treble. I don’t want him to retire while I am the coach.”

Monchi also made it clear that he does not want Spalletti to leave, with the future of the 58-year-old having also come under scrutiny.

“I’ll tell you a story: the first time I was contacted about coming to Roma, I thought about it and the only tough thing was leaving Sevilla,” Monchi said.

“There were several pros and that includes Spalletti. I was excited to work with him. I’ll try to realise that.

“We can’t get distracted now; what matters is these last few games. But I hold on to the hope that he’ll stay with us. He’s one of the reasons I came here.”



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