Monchi: ’No offers for Alisson’

Roma sporting director Monchi insists they haven’t had any bids for Alisson – “there are many rumours about it every day, but no offers have arrived”.

The Brazilian goalkeeper has been linked with a move away this summer, with Liverpool and Real Madrid among the teams interested in signing him.

“He’s the starter for the Brazilian national team, he’s made huge progress this season and he’s contributed to the growth of the team,” Monchi told Cadena Cope.

“Just look at the 10 clean sheets in the league and the decisive saves in the Champions League.

“He’s only 26, he still has room for improvement and he transmits an air of calm to the team. We’re very happy with his performance.

“Have there been offers for him? None. There are many rumours about it every day, but no offers have arrived.”

The Giallorossi face Barcelona in the Champions League Quarter-Finals, and Monchi discussed their chances of going through.

“We have to prepare for it in the best way. We need to try to do something difficult, something that nobody imagines. Everything goes in a few seconds, once the draw is made you immediately start thinking about the future.

“People see Barcelona as favourites? So do I, I just think that being labelled as favourites doesn’t mean you’ve already got qualification in your hands. It just means they have more chance.

“We’ll have to dream, at least, that we can make it. Then we’ll prepare ourselves to make this dream come true.

“They seem a more balanced team to me, with Valverde’s 4-4-2.

“Lionel Messi? Obviously his presence makes the difference. Messi, when he’s at his best, swings the balance and makes his teams almost unbeatable.”

The sporting director was then asked who he’d take from the Barça team, Messi aside.

“Can I have more than one?” Monchi laughed.

“I think of [Ivan] Rakitic who is having a great season. In Barcelona there are a lot of players who would be a dream for any sporting director, choosing only one would be hard.”

Some have said that Cengiz Under reminds them of a young Messi…

“I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. Coming from Turkey he had a long period of adaptation, little-by-little he’s turning out to be an important player.

“In a difficult period for the team, his goals proved to be crucial.

“He still has to mature and take on the role of the leaders we have, [Daniele] De Rossi, [Radja] Nainggolan, [Kevin] Strootman, [Kostas] Manolas and [Aleksandar] Kolarov.”

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