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."
Griezmann has been handed a two-game ban by UEFA, the first of which was served in the return match against Liverpool, which Atleti lost 2-0, a fortnight ago.
Italy will face North Macedonia at home in a playoff semi-final next March, and the winner will play away at either Portugal or Turkey for a spot in the World Cup.
For what could be his final game in temporary charge of Manchester United, Michael Carrick takes his team to Premier League leader Chelsea in the headline match of the 13th round