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Dzeko embodies new-look Roma

Roma
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 By Ben Gladwell

Francesco Totti has six-year contract as director on the table - Roma chief

Roma president James Pallotta says Francesco Totti has a six-year contract as a club director ready to be signed, although he does not want to be drawn on whether the 40-year-old will play on for another season.

Totti earned a one-year contract extension last summer due to his performances towards the end of the season, but his playing future remains uncertain as he continues to be used in a backup role for Roma this term.

"We've not spoken [about his playing future] but Francesco has a six-year contract as a director," Pallotta was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport after Roma beat Sassuolo 3-1 to move back up to second in Serie A on Sunday.

"Our objective now is to qualify for the Champions League, even if the season's not over yet because [league leaders] Juve still have to play Napoli so I'm hoping for a draw in that game.

"We've just got to think about this now, not about contracts. I'm confident we can finish second. The Champions League is where this club belong. We've slowed down a bit, but I think we'll pick up the pace again towards the end."

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti has appeared to pin his own future on whether he is able to lead Roma to some silverware this season, but Pallotta says he wants him to stay regardless.

"Maybe I'm just a stupid American but I'd prefer second place and the Champions League, but of course we want to win the Coppa Italia too," he said. "If we play like we did against Lyon [in the Europa League], we can make it. I want [Spalletti] to stay, but it is up to him to decide. It's not down to me."

Luciano Spalletti
Roma president James Pallotta wants Luciano Spalletti to extend his stay with the club.

Spalletti says the decision is not entirely his, however, adding that he feels there would be quite a few pleased people around if he were to walk away this summer.

"I'm happy to hear those words from the president," Spalletti said. "If we are winning, then great, but if we don't win, then you have to leave. It's not only down to me, but to everybody. My contract is worthless and the same goes for the players.

"People are always talking about [my future] among reporters and it's you guys here in front of me I'm up against. You make Roma out to be an entirely different world to what it really is, which is a garden in full bloom.

"Even if there are people who always want to make out that things are ugly here, they are actually beautiful. We've worked correctly and seriously this year. Last year, we did what Inter [Milan] are doing this season, yet it appears like we did nothing at all. If I do walk away, there will be people here popping the [champagne] corks."

At his postmatch news conference, Spalletti added that Sassuolo coach and former Roma player Eusebio De Francesco has already offered to replace him.

"He's said so himself," Spalletti said. "I read about it. It's only right that somebody likes to return to where they have been before, and he has offered his services because he is a great coach and a true professional."

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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