Monchi: We are building for long-term success

Sporting director Monchi sat down with Sky Sport Italia on Wednesday night to discuss the current situation at the club.

The Spaniard, interviewed live from Trigoria in the wake of Real Madrid’s 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the last-16 of the Champions League, discussed that game and a number of Roma-related subjects in a television interview – including the summer sale of Mohamed Salah, the January transfer saga that surrounded Edin Dzeko, his desire to bring trophies to the club, and more.

Read the key parts from his discussion below.

On balancing economic realities with trying to win…

“The [financial] numbers are important because we are a business, but for the fans the important thing is trophies. In my years at Sevilla we were able to win trophies, and this for now is something that we are missing at Roma. I understand the fans perfectly: they do not want to talk about numbers, they want to win. That is my job.

"We are building a club not just to win, but to do that in a sustained fashion. Fans do not want promises, they want results. I understand that, but I also ask for a bit of faith.

“I said the first time I spoke here in Rome, that my objective is to deliver what the fans want. It will take time. I put myself in the shoes of the fans and I understand them, and all of us at the club need to stay quiet and work harder to find the right path to get where we all want to get.”

On the summer sale of Mohamed Salah…

“The first offer was €32 million and €3m in bonuses. In the end the deal could reach €50m with bonuses, but at that time we needed to sell and it was a significant offer. Afterwards the Neymar and Mbappe deals changed the market, but in that moment we had to sell. Today I think that the price could have have been better, but at the time it gave us the opportunity to do some business of our own.

“Today in football the players go where they want to go.”

On the upcoming tie with Shakhtar Donetsk...

“The Champions League means a lot. It’s the best competition in the world, and for us it presents a chance to achieve some big things – both for us and our fans. I have never reached the quarter-finals, so it would be great to do that.”

On Chelsea’s January interest in Edin Dzeko...

“We starting speaking to them about Emerson Palmieri, and then afterwards they mentioned Edin. They said they would make an offer, we listened to that and we told them our demands. They were never able to reach an agreement with Edin, I think. We were willing to sell Emerson, but we were never convinced about selling Dzeko as well. They never reached the amount we were asking for.

“Of course no club is happy to sell, but we have to look at the sporting and economic aspects of it as well. If he [Edin] had left, another big player would have arrived. If you sell a player and don’t buy a replacement, of course the fans will not be happy.

“We certainly had a potential replacement if Edin had left, but it’s also true that we have a lot of confidence in Patrik Schick and Gregoire Defrel, so we were calm. But it’s clear that if Edin had gone we would have bought another forward.”

On the talk of transfer fees around certain players…

“The prices that are talked about aren’t always right. Up until today we have spent €5 million on Schick and €6m for Defrel. We are paying for Schick over five years and we do not yet know exactly how much he will turn out to cost. It is not €42m, it’s not like that. I believe Patrik will become vital for Roma. His natural role is as the striker, but he can also play out wide: a top player can play well wherever he is asked.”

On his relationship with Pallotta…

“We have a great relationship. Sometimes I hear people say that he isn't around enough, when I'm telling him that sometimes he needs to take a step back! I talk with him every day; he is very close to the team and the club and he is constantly working on things.

"We need to be fairer with Pallotta: the Roma that he has in his head is a great Roma, a trophy-winning Roma. And I think that in the end he will get there.”

On Totti’s claims he would cost 200m today..

“I don’t know, maybe that’s a bit low! Today he would be at the level of Messi, Kane, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo.”

On Alessandro Florenzi’s future…

“Hopefully Florenzi will stay for life. He is a Romanista, I am convinced he will renew for a number of years.”