Roma sporting director Monchi gave an extensive interview this evening live on Sky Sport. Here are his words:
It is Saint Valentine’s Day, you’re in love with Roma.
I have been in love with this club from the moment I arrived. I immediately understood how much this club means to fans.
Salah scored tonight. Is there regret with him?
In the end, we will get €50 million including bonuses, but at that time, we needed to sell and that was an important option. Then the cases of Neymar and Mbappe blew up the transfer market, but at that time, it was necessary to sell. Even today I still think the price could have been better, but it gave us the chance to perform other operations.
There was already an offer from Liverpool when you arrived.
It was for €32 million plus €3 million in bonuses. Today in football, players go where they want.
What do you think about Gianluca Di Marzio when you see him on TV?
I try to understand who his sources are (laughs).
You have to make an impression on Roma.
I agree. The (financial) numbers are important because we are also a company, but for the fans, we need trophies. During my time at Sevilla, all that mattered were trophies and that is what I yearn for at Roma. I understand the fans perfectly, they do not want to talk about numbers, they want to win, this is my job. We must build a club not only to win, but to win continuously. The fans do not want promises, they want results. I understand them, but I ask for a little trust. I am becoming more familiar with football in Italy.
You will face Shakthar soon. What does the Champions League mean for you?
A lot. It is the best competition in the world, and for us, it becomes an opportunity to do important things for us and our fans. I have never gotten to the quarterfinals, it would be great to get there.
Napoli’s Ounas: was he close to joining Roma?
Yes, it’s true. But Napoli spoke first with him and he chose them.
Perhaps it all went even better since you got Ünder.
(Laughs) I think Ounas is a good player too. It is difficult to say.
Dzeko-Chelsea: you never had total agreement, right?
We started talking to them for Emerson, then they asked about Edin. We told them to make an offer, we listened and we talked. They do not believe they ever found an agreement with Dzeko. We wanted to sell Emerson, but we were not convinced of selling Dzeko, though. They never met the amount we requested.
But why did you want to sell (Dzeko)?
No club is ever happy to sell, but then we saw the sporting and economic aspects. If he had left, someone else would have arrived, someone important would have arrived. If I sell one player I buy another one, we can not say otherwise or the fans will get angry.
Was the idea perhaps to help Schick?
We would have certainly bought a substitute if he had left, but it is true about the trust we have in Schick and Defrel…it is massive, so we were calm. But surely if Edin had left, we would have taken a striker. Giroud was a possibility, Batshuayi also.
Some crticise you for paying too much for Schick and Defrel.
The figures have always been misconstrued. To date, we have spent €5 million for Schick and €6 million for Defrel. We can pay for Schick over 5 years and we do not know yet how much it will be. It’s not €42 million, it’s not like that. This year we will spend €6 million for Schick, it is a comfortable operation for us. I think Patrik will become very strong for Roma. His role is attacker, but he can also play as a winger: a good player plays well everywhere.
A lifetime renewal for Florenzi?
Maybe he stays here for lif. He is Romanista, I am convinced he will stay here for so many years.