Semplici: ‘SPAL can test Roma’

SPAL Coach Leonardo Semplici is “convinced we’ll make a good impression, even if Roma are one of the best sides in Serie A.”

It kicks off on Friday at 17.30 GMT, click here for a match preview.

“I am convinced that my team will make a good impression, even if we are up against Roma, who are one of the best sides in Serie A,” said Semplici in his Press conference.

It has been a rough week for the Spallini, who fumbled a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 at Chievo in Serie A, then were knocked out of the Coppa Italia by Serie B outfit Cittadella.

“I certainly don’t need to ask the players to give their best. If we leave out the performance against Cittadella, then SPAL have always played good football this season and I cannot complain about that.

“I’ll choose at the last minute who starts between Michele Cremonesi and Marios Oikonomou, but the intention is to confirm the same XI that played against Chievo.

“I’ll continue to evaluate, as Federico Bonazzoli is training well and one of the candidates, along with Sergio Floccari and Marco Borriello.”

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Report: Manolas agrees Roma deal

Kostas Manolas has reportedly agreed a new three-year contract with Roma, with a release clause said to be worth €37m.

According to Sky Sport Italia, the deal was struck this evening with wages at €3m plus bonuses and an announcement is imminent.

The 26-year-old Greek international’s current contract runs to June 2019 and he joined the club from Olympiacos in the summer of 2014.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are known to be interested in Manolas and have been for a couple of years.

This new release clause, if activated, would only be valid for clubs outside of Italy.

Although there was Premier League interest, the club closest to Manolas was Zenit St Petersburg, originally in a double deal with Leandro Paredes.

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Ferrero: ‘Torreira worth €50m’

Sampdoria President Massimo Ferrero warned Lucas Torreira “is worth €50m, while for Dennis Praet they need €30-40m and we don’t intend to sell.”

The midfielders have attracted a lot of interest from clubs in Italy and abroad, above all the Premier League and Atletico Madrid.

“Torreira is worth €50m, but he’s not going anywhere in January,” Ferrero told Sportitalia.

“As for Praet, they need €30-40m, but we don’t intend to sell. Anybody who wants our players has to pay the right price.”

This season, 21-year-old Torreira has contributed three goals and one assist in 14 competitive games for Samp.

It’s reported he will receive his first senior call-up to the Uruguay squad in March.

Praet is a 23-year-old Belgium international who was signed from RSC Anderlecht in the summer of 2016 for €10m.

This season, he has provided three assists in 12 Serie A appearances.

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Nainggolan and Perotti skip SPAL

Radja Nainggolan and Diego Perotti are out of the Roma squad hosting SPAL tomorrow, but Patrik Schick could get his first start.

It kicks off on Friday at 17.30 GMT, click here for a match preview.

The Giallorossi are resting big stars ahead of their Champions League decider with Qarabag, while Daniele De Rossi begins a two-match Serie A ban.

Nainggolan and Perotti sit this one out, with Gregoire Defrel and Rick Karsdorp injured.

Roma squad for SPAL: Alisson, Lobont, Skorupski; Juan Jesus, Kolarov, Moreno, Fazio, Peres, Emerson, Manolas, Castan; Strootman, Pellegrini, Gonalons, Florenzi, Gerson; Dzeko, Schick, Cengiz Under, Antonucci, El Shaarawy

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Totti: ‘Tommasi for the FIGC’

Roma legend Francesco Totti “took it very badly” when Italy were eliminated from the World Cup, and wants Damiano Tommasi as head of the FIGC.

The Azzurri were eliminated by Sweden in the play-offs, prompting the sacking of CT Giampiero Ventura and the eventual resignation of FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio.

“I took the elimination of Italy very badly,” Totti admitted, speaking to Corriere della Sera.

“Like all Italians I didn’t think we’d fail to reach the World Cup in Russia. Unfortunately it happened and it shocked the whole football world, not just Italy.

“Seeing a World Cup without Italy will be very strange.

“There are a lot of names being mentioned at the moment, but I’d like to see Tommasi take over everything.

“I’m not just saying that because he’s my friend, but he’s a young, positive and transparent figure. He knows Italian football and a lot of people, he can take Italian football in his hands.”

Totti retired at the end of last season, and he was asked how he’s dealing with no longer being a player.

“I’m in the dressing room quite often, almost every morning or afternoon during the training sessions. I’m close to the players and the Coach, so it’s the same sensation, I just don’t get stripped.”

Er Pupone then revealed one regret from his playing career.

“I’ve always said it and I repeat it, the one regret of my career is that I didn’t get to play with Ronaldo.

“It would have been my dream but also his. He scored a lot of goals, but with me behind him he could have got even more.”

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