January transfer window: AS Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco hesitant to let 'important' Edin Dzeko leave for Chelsea
Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco said on Saturday he was reluctant to part with Edin Dzeko, adding that he had only just become aware of the Serie A club's need to sell.
Rome: AS Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco said on Saturday he was reluctant to part with Edin Dzeko, adding that he had only just become aware of the Serie A club's need to sell.
Chelsea are reported to be closing in on Bosnian ace Dzeko and Brazilian Emerson Palmieri for a combined 50 million euros (62 million dollars).
But Di Francesco said he would prefer to hang on the 2016-2017 Serie A top scorer, who netted 29 last season and had proved his worth this term with ten, including the equaliser in last week's 1-1 draw against Sampdoria.
"I don't know what the financial situation is, I only came to know of this possibility recently. But we do this job and we must be ready for anything," said the Roma coach.
"It's normal that if it were to happen, it would be tied to the financial fair play and other issues.
"It hasn't happened yet. I saw great support from the crowd and I hope to see the same tomorrow night."
There has been growing discontent among Roma fans at the lack of winter transfer signings with two banners: "As Roma is not a game" and "Enough illusions, buy the champions!" hanging outside the Stadio Olympico on the eve of Sunday's game against Sampdoria.
"In the case of a Dzeko sale I asked the club to sign Leo Messi, but they told me it wasn't possible," joked the Roma coach.
"It's not as if I or Roma want to lose our most important players.
"All I can say is that I have Dzeko at my disposal and I hope he remains for the rest of the season," Di Francesco added.
"I do my job and try to do it the best I can. There are some clear things that have been said to me, so either you accept those or you go home.
"I chose to be the coach of Roma, even during difficult times."
Southampton's new ownership group Sport Republic was founded by Rasmus Ankersen, who recently stepped down as Brentford co-director of football.
Inter Milan kept their lead in the Serie A title race thanks to a tight 2-1 win over Lazio.
Sport Republic, who specialise in sport and entertainment investments, have paid a reported £100 million ($135 million) for the 80 percent shareholding in the south coast side