Edin Dzeko revealed he was offered Roma’s captaincy by team-mate Alessandro Florenzi in an effort to convince him to stay amid interest from Inter.
Dzeko was heavily tipped to join Inter, however, the Roma striker signed a three-year contract to remain with the Italian capital club until 2022.
The 33-year-old Bosnia-Herzegovina captain arrived from Manchester City in 2015 and he has since scored more than 80 goals for Roma in all competitions.
Discussing his contract extension, Dzeko told Roma TV: “They went to great lengths to keep me here. I want to thank them and now I need to give my all on the pitch, as always.
“It’s really nice to see that other people are happy that I’ve stayed here. My team-mates aren’t just team-mates: we’re friends, brothers…
“They were always on my back: ‘You’re not going anywhere – you’re staying here!’ I have a great relationship with them all.
“[Lorenzo] Pellegrini and Florenzi were on at me every day: ‘You’ll stay here – you’re not going anywhere’. Florenzi would say: ‘If you sign, I’ll give you the captaincy!’
“When I did sign, he said: ‘It’s yours!’ But I said: ‘Ale, you’re our captain and we’re all behind you’.”
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) August 21, 2019
After reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2017-18, Roma were unable to reach those lofty heights again, eliminated in the round of 16, while they finished sixth in Serie A.
Dzeko scored nine league goals and 14 across all competitions to lead the way for Roma.
“I said that Rome was my home after I signed the new deal – but it’s not the first time I’ve said that,” he said.
“I’ve always said it and I really do feel that way. My family feels that way too, especially my wife and also my kids, who were born here in Rome. We were on holiday recently and my daughter Una kept saying: ‘Let’s go home to Rome!'”
“We spoke at the end of last season and they told me they wanted me here and that I was part of the project for the future of Roma,” Dzeko added. “During pre-season over the last two months, they made me feel important.
“In the end we were able to achieve what we all wanted. I’m here and I’ve signed for another three years because I want to stay here and because I’m happy.”
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