Roma sporting director Ramon Monchi was interviewed today by Sky Sport in an extensive interview. These are his words:
On being given time.
In a bigger team, you have less time, that’s how it is. If you are the sporting director of Barcelona, time does not exist, if you are the sporting director of Romal, time is very, very small. If you said we need a goalkeeper, I would try to buy a goalkeeper who can become a strong one for Roma in two years because I have time with Olsen, Mirante and Fuzato in place. It’s a different circumstance when you need a right back, for instance — you need someone to arrive and play immediately.
On his choices in the market.
For me, the Mister has to decide what the profile is, then the sporting side of the club must take direction and find available names. It is difficult for a manager to know the names, unless they are players who play in Italian football. It’s normal, because they do a different job. If the manager wants a right-back with certain characteristics, then I tell him the profiles that are available. Normally, I was lucky to have the confidence of the managers I worked with as I’ll hardly impose anything. Though, I do not like to share everything, sometimes the manager will entrust (a name) to me, but I always try to find a team that’s shared.
On the budget.
I’ve always stated that I work with Excel: I never forget the numbers. Today the budget is one, tomorrow it can change. In January it can change because maybe we’d receive a €200 million offer for Lorenzo Serafini (AS Roma press officer) and he leaves. The budget is not fixed, we must know that there is always some risk. I work very close to the finance director and marketing director.
How much can Roma spend on the market?
It’s not about just the fee, you can buy a €20 million player, but his wages also matter — it’s all of it together.
I imagine Barcelona wanted him initially. I do not want to think that a team that spends €42 million does so only because Roma wants him, it would not be very professional and Barcelona are great professionals.
On the sales.
Before arriving here, the most expensive purchase I made was Franco Vázquez at €15 million. If you look at the players I sold, the most expensive was Dani Alves for €42 million, here I sold Salah for €50 million, Radja for €40 million, Rudiger for €40 million and also Alisson. The costs of the players has risen, which is a bit mad, in my opinion.
Do you turn off your phone even on Christmas?
Never. It’s my job. I’ll tell you a story: it was Christmas 2002-2003, I went to see Reinaldo Navia, a Chilean player who played in Mexico. I remember it was New Year’s Eve, in Spain we eat a grape at midnight for every toll of the clock. Five minutes before that, I was on the phone with the directors of the Mexican team, but I didn’t end up getting him because we didn’t have even a single euro (laughs). Those who know me know that it is difficult to have a conversation without the phone by my side. I’m not saying that I’m the sporting director, certainly not, but I’m amongst those who certainly works the most. I learned from my father that the only way to become something is by working.