Interviews

Tiago Pinto reviews Roma’s transfer window

Roma executive Tiago Pinto speaking to the media
Andy Mattioli
I

Roma General Manager Tiago Pinto reviewed the club’s summer transfer window.

In today’s press conference, Pinto addressed the media and answered questions regarding the Giallorossi’s recent transfer business.

“From a technical point of view the team has improved,” said Pinto. “Now we have more solutions.”

“Mourinho’s contract renewal? These are all discussions we hold only at the right time with the right people. We don’t divulge these things publicly. These are matters that we take care of behind closed doors. We’re now focused on the team and doing well on the pitch,” he added.

“What we tried to do in this window is to improve the team’s technical level, the club’s financial situation and work towards the future while simultaneously respecting UEFA’s restrictions. It’s not easy.”

“Marcos Leonardo? He’s still an objective for us,” admitted Pinto.

“We have been tracking him for 15 months. It seemed like a done deal until negotiations broke down due to Santos’ position in the league, their coach getting sacked and Falcao’s resignation.”

“But he is still an objective for us because he’s young and very strong. It’s true, we like to pursue players with a bright future and with lots of potential. But sometimes the conditions don’t allow it. So instead we go and get players like Aouar or Ndicka – players who we get on a free instead of paying their real value.”

Regarding his own future and Mourinho’s, Pinto added, “Mourinho and I are equally motivated to go forward with the project at Roma. There’s no tension between the two of us. We speak the same language and we say what we think face-to-face.”

“Our mission is to get back to the Champions League. We’re not Manchester City, that’s obvious. Our reality is different and so are our transfers.”

He also addressed the concerns surrounding summer signing Renato Sanches. The midfielder, who has an extensive injury history, has already missed two of the Giallorossi’s first three league affairs.

“Renato Sanches? I am willing to be praised or blasted based on how he ends up playing for us. He’s a player I adore. I already wanted him at Benfica. He has had injury problems in the past, if he has them in the future it will be my fault.”

“But with this staff and with this coach, we should be able to make him perform at his best. This is why we structured a contract that if he plays a certain number of games we have to buy him.”

“If things go well we’re all happy, if they go badly I’m responsible because I’m aware of the risks. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to bring him here.”

Pinto was also asked to weigh-in on the controversial refereeing decisions that have plagued Roma over the previous two seasons.

“I don’t want to wage war against the referees,” he explained. “But let me say this: there has to be collaboration, we have to listen to them and they need to listen to us.”

“I don’t see any difference between what happened on Friday with Rui Patricio and Loftus-Cheek and Zaniolo at Napoli last year.”

There were also questions about the situations surrounding midfielders Davide Frattesi and Nemanja Matic. The Giallorossi were in talks for several months to acquire the former, who ultimately joined Inter, while the latter shocked the club by requesting a departure late in the window.

“Frattesi was one of our objectives but ultimately everyone makes their choices,” Pinto said. “I still love him, though.”

“As for Matic, I have to admit I didn’t expect him to act the way he did, but I prefer not to talk about it. Fortunately we signed Paredes, a world champions, just a few days later.”

He also gave his take on the club’s situation in regards to Financial Fair Play (FFP). UEFA punished the club earlier this year with fines and spending restrictions for what it deemed “violation of the breakeven rules”.

“We generated €15 million just off sell-on clauses, but they don’t become part of our transfer balance, same as the revenue from Volpato, Tahirovic and Missori’s transfers.”

Adding, “I agree with the principles of FFP, but it makes it difficult to respect each parameter and build a stronger team.”

“There are two key parameters we have to respect for FFP. One is that in a period of two years time we can only spend 70% of our revenue. And then there is a tool called Transfer Balance which monitors the inclusion of players in our UEFA list.”

Moving to the pitch, the Portuguese executive was questioned about the team’s poor start to the season and the struggles of veteran shot-stopper Rui Patricio, who has conceded 6 goals on 8 shots thru three games.

“We have margins for improvement over the coming days, goalkeeper and wingers included. I have 100% confidence in Rui, one of Europe’s top keepers in the last years. I haven’t contacted any agent for an additional goalkeeper.”

He continued, “None of us are happy after these three games, but let’s not panic. After the break we have every chance to improve. There is frustration but more balance is needed.”

“Dybala? We have a great relationship with Dybala and his entourage and he is a fantastic person. Now let’s enjoy this player. Too much has been written about his departure, and yet he is still here. We will do everything to keep him with us.”

He concluded, “Overall, it’s been a team effort. The Friedkins invested in the growth of this club. I try my best to improve the qualities of the team.”

“I suffered and worked hard this summer and I am never satisfied enough with my work. But, as a team we did well.”

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MatchDay 38
26 May 20:45
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