Sporting director Monchi opened up on aspects of Roma's transfer market policy, as he welcomed Javier Pastore to the club on Tuesday.
Speaking at the official presentation of the player, Monchi outlined his belief that Pastore will prove a great addition to the playing squad.
“Pastore is a player with a lot of quality, experience, and maturity," he said. "He’ll raise the level of the squad without a doubt.
"When a player wants to join, it’s always easier to find an agreement on the transfer. He had a lot of teams on his tail, but at the end of the day if the player wants to play for you it all becomes easier. He was convinced he wanted to come here.”
The Spaniard then went on to take a number of questions from journalists about a variety of transfer topics.
It seems like you’re on the same page as the coaching staff with your choices in the transfer market. Is the same true for Florenzi’s contract negotiations?
“Firstly I’d like to say that it’s proper, as a Director of Football, that I work side by side with the coach. There’s great harmony between me and Eusebio: in terms of the transfer market we’re the same person. We’re trying to renew Florenzi’s contract, but it isn’t easy. He’s a good player, a very good player. We’re yet to find an agreement, but the plan, that he stays with us, is one the coach and I share.”
Perotti’s goodbye to Nainggolan mentioned his “madness”. Is this a detail which may have had an influence on his departure?
“We made a decision. My work as a Director of Football means I have to make decisions every day. I know some will understand, and others won’t. A team sent us an offer for one of our players, and we chose to listen, and to come to an agreement. This is the job I do, and I never shy away from it.”
What’s Alisson’s situation at the moment?
“Well first of all I wish him luck in tomorrow’s match. Up to today we haven’t received any offers for him. My thoughts on the matter are to wait until the World Cup, hoping for his and Brazil’s sake that it doesn’t come too soon for them, then he can rest and come here to train with his teammates. I repeat: up to today there has been no offer for Alisson. If you asked me the same question about Schick’s future I’d say the same thing. There have been no calls made the Director of Football’s office with offers for him.”
Were you disappointed with any behaviour on Nainggolan’s part?
“I just want to think of the happy times with Radja. I wish him well from the bottom of my heart.”
What do you have in mind with Roma’s transfers this summer?
“We’ve bought eight, nearly nine, players. I don’t think there’s a team in Italy, or Europe, that’s done the same. All the talk is of sales, but Roma have only sold Nainggolan, Skorupski and Tumminello, compared to eight or nine players coming in. I’m happy with what we’ve done so far.
My aim as a Director of Football has always been to try and provide the most ready squad possible to the coach, to let him get to work as soon as possible. Our plans for the season aren’t done, but we’ve accomplished a large chunk of them. It’s a point of pride for me, to have worked through June with the trust of the club and ownership. We’re calm now, we don’t have to worry about Financial Fair Play, which is an important factor, not every club can say that. Sometimes we forget that we have to comply with the economic rules, not just the sporting ones. Roma, which was in difficulty this time last year, is now in good shape: we’ve nearly bought nine players, including Javier. I think these moments are worth enjoying fully.”
Might Manolas and Pellegrini make use of their buyout clauses?
“I’ve spoken to Kostas three or four times, he enjoys my job and might make a decent Director of Football himself [laughs]. He’s happy with the team and wants to stay. I’ve read that Chelsea want to pay the buyout clause, but I haven’t heard anything. I feel calm. With regards to Pellegrini, a week ago I spoke to his agent, and we didn’t talk about that possibility at all. There’s a reason for us to be calm. Lorenzo is a Roma player through and through, and he’s an important part of our future.”
How do you address the criticism you’ve gotten for selling players?
“With my track record. I’ve always done this sort of work, look back over my career: players have always been bought and sold. I’ve won a few trophies too. I’ve done what I think is best for the club and the team, what I think is best for the coach and the players. That’s my job, and last year we had a good season. I think that arriving third in the league, and getting to the semi-finals of the Champions League is important. I don’t want to rest on my achievements, and I’ve always been very ambitious. I take the decisions which I think will make the squad as strong as possible. Then we’ll see during the season. What I’ve done up to today has been to help the club, and to build a stronger team. We’ll see in the future.”
How far along is the Bianda deal?
“We’re very close to an agreement. He’s an exciting prospect, and has been looked at in detail by our scouts. This is the kind of player I like to buy, because it’s the result of the collaborative work of all the staff. He’ll go straight into training with the first team if he comes here, and it will be a big step up for him. We hope to seal the deal as soon as possible. We’re waiting.”
Would you label Alisson unsellable?
“No player in the world is unsellable. Look at Neymar and Coutinho. If an offer of 500 million Euros came in for Pastore he might be off. No team in the world could say something like that about a player.”