Roma General Manager Tiago Pinto spoke to reporters at Trigoria earlier today and discussed the club’s January transfer window which culminated in the sale of Nicolo Zaniolo to Turkish giant Galatasaray.
The Portuguese director went over a difficult window which proved problematic as Roma continue to face Financial Fair Play constraints set by UEFA.
First, Pinto addressed Zaniolo’s sale. “I don’t want to hide on this matter because it’s my responsibility. I was hoping we could get more money from his exit. A week ago we had received a much better offer, but unfortunately we were forced to come to this point which is still good for all parties involved. Am I happy? I’ll never be happy about this, but I doubt we could have done better this late in the year.”
Pinto also mentioned the rumours surrounding his rapport with Jose Mourinho. “The media always look for a conflict between Mourinho and me, in reality we work for the good of Roma. This press conference will not create disagreements, we work for the same team. We always try to do our best by working together with our scouts and our coach, and I’ll always take my responsibilities.”
“Am I satisfied with this transfer window? No. I felt the other years that the team had improved, I can’t say the same now because we lost three players and signed two. We trust in Wijnaldum’s recovery.”
“I take full responsibility for the players we have signed and who have not performed as expected. Vina and Shomurodov are 100% my responsibility. I have to say that Zaniolo was a difficult situation to manage, we weren’t able to do things as we would have liked.”
“With what was Bournemouth’s offer for Zaniolo, we could have made an important transfer market to strengthen the team but we didn’t succeed. There are things I couldn’t change, but I want to be objective and I’m not satisfied with the transfer market. As I’ve always said, the transfer market is 20-30% important, I trust the coach, the coaching staff and the players, we have the conditions to do well.”
“El Shaarawy? We can still decide together what do with his future. Smalling has time until May to decide what to do next with his career. We are in contact with Smalling’s agent to continue together, but I think everyone understands that the window is closed today and we have time to sort things out, without forgetting that it’s the player’s word. It’s not just our responsibility, everyone was clear because the idea is to continue together, let’s see what happens.”
“Karsdorp? We will soon understand this situation better, he stayed here and Mourinho spoke about it a bit publicly. Roma’s interest is more important, it will be understood shortly that if will be available for the remainder of the season.”
“Zaniolo was loved very much. I’m not hiding from this question, but if you look at the most important teams in Serie A, how many players have left on a free transfer? Many, fortunately not with Roma. When it comes to a contract renewal, there is always a negotiation behind it, the player’s request, what the agent wants, what the club wants and performances on the pitch.”
“We have a good relationship with the agent, but there has never been an agreement on these points. Even I can think that I could earn X money, I’m very good and I want to earn X. But if I leave Roma and I see that only Bournemouth and Galatasaray are bidding for me, either I’m bad or something is wrong.”
“Ziyech? It is true that we spoke to his agents and Chelsea.”
“We were a bit disappointed with Zaniolo’s attitude but life goes on. Roma is bigger than anyone.”
“When I talk about Financial Fair Play it’s not that I want to justify my work. The day I leave Roma I want to be sure of leaving Roma in the best possible shape. We are third in the standings, but we have to continue on this path. Nothing was done in Italy in January, it’s a theme of Italian football and it’s difficult to compete with the Premier League. It will always be difficult to do better than other clubs. I am confident that the collaboration between Roma and UEFA, we will have a team that is competitive in the Champions League and who will choose who they want to sign, but not that’s the way it is now.”