Roma executive Tiago Pinto held a press conference this afternoon and detailed the club’s approach to last month’s transfer market.
The Giallorossi acquired midfielder Sergio Oliveira from Porto and Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan from Arsenal. They also managed to offload Federico Fazio, who terminated his contract with the club, while Borja Mayoral, Gonzalo Villar, Bryan Reynolds and Riccardo Calafiori departed on loan.
“I’m happy to be able to hold this press conference and clarify everything we did this past month,” began Pinto.
“In regards to a grade and the highest bids we’ve received, I’ve learned that there’s no need to do this because it tends to be misunderstood. Football is dynamic, higher performing players warrant very expensive bids.”
“The most important thing throughout these past few transfer windows is that we’ve managed to keep hold of our best players. I don’t want to discuss any figures we received. I don’t like discussing that take place behind the scenes.”
“People experience the transfer market here very intensely, which really struck me. Perhaps one day I’ll discuss this aspect but I always try to be methodical.”
He continued, “The objective of each window is to make the team stronger. We acquired two players who improve the team. But the January market is always a bit particular, you need to realise what you’re lacking and see if you can bring guys who are immediately ready to contribute.”
“We got these two players very quickly and luckily they’ve managed to make us better right away, just like the manager said. We’ll evaluate later in the season if these two guys will remain permanently, but there’s plenty of time to discuss this.”
“We must always make choices that are done to improve the team, regardless of incoming or outgoing deals. We want to make Roma a winning team, so this is the perspective we’ll carry into the next transfer market, regardless of who’s purchased or sold.”
“Summer is far away. Right now we need to focus on the pitch. This month we added more musicians to the orchestra and we’ve got to improve their understanding between each other so they can give the supporters the symphony they deserve.”
“Myself, Mourinho, and the ownership will discuss in the coming months where we need to improve for the summer in order to make Roma stronger.”
Pinto also addressed the situation involving midfielder Amadou Diawara. The 24 year-old hasn’t featured much for Roma this season and was widely expected to leave in January.
However, he ultimately decided to remain and rejected a late loan offer from Venezia, which many believe blocked the Giallorossi’s ability to acquire a defensive midfielder.
“Diawara didn’t block anything. It just so happens that football is something like a marriage, things can only be done if all the parties want it,” Pinto explained.
“It’s not true we didn’t make a third purchase because Diawara didn’t leave. I guess I’m confused because once Oliveira arrived on the 12th, we all said that the market was closed. But then some of you started writing things and naming names such as Joao Moutinho, which was a joke on social media that somehow became news.”
“You (the media) complain that us within the club never speak but the names that got published were all lies, even Kamara. Everyone that was mentioned was never involved in a negotiation with us.”
One journalist pushed back and asked Pinto if the rumors involving midfielder Denis Zakaria, who joined Juventus, were also lies.
“I’ll show my sincerity: no. The situation for him is different. When you negotiate for a football, sometimes things can go awry.”
“I don’t want to comment on one specific case, but I’ve said before that we were following him.”
The 37 year-old was asked to compare Roma’s ability to sell their unwanted compared to Juve’s. The Bianconeri managed to fund the acquisitions of Dusan Vlahović and Zakaria by offloading Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur.
Roma, meanwhile, were primarily forced to settle for dry loan deals for many of their outgoing players.
“It’s a different situation. Let me try to answer your example with my own. When I arrived here, Pau Lopez was benched with a transfer market value that was perhaps zero. He played, recovered, then got injured.”
“Then I knocked on Marseille’s door and six months later we earn €12 million for a guy who was on the bench behind Antonio Mirante. It’s the same case with Cengiz Ünder. We’re discussing guys who are playing now but weren’t playing at Roma.”
“I talk to all clubs so I’m not sure what you mean when you ask me about my relationships with other clubs. Even if I don’t know someone at a particular club, they will still answer my call because even if they don’t know me they know that Roma is an important club.”
With the market closed, the bulk of Roma’s attention is expected to focus on wrapping up new deals for young duo Lorenzo Pellegrini and Nicolo Zaniolo.
Pinto answered, “Right now is the time to worry about the team, to help the manager and the team bring home the objectives.”
“Obviously the collective is made up of individuals, but right now we have to think about giving everything we can to get the absolute maximum from this season.”