Pallotta confirms Totti offer

James Pallotta has confirmed that Roma have offered the role of technical director to Francesco Totti and denied not inviting him to a meeting.

Totti is reportedly considering his future at Roma after it was alleged Pallotta had left him out of a recent summit in London.

However, the President clarified in an interview with the club’s official website: “Of course it’s not true.

“Let me state on record, quite clearly for those who think they can continually cause divisions within this club, Francesco was absolutely invited to the meeting in London.

“I believe he’s an integral part of our football operations management. I felt it was an important meeting so there was never a question about Francesco not being invited.

“I honestly don’t know. Maybe Francesco feels he needs some time to think about his future and his role at the club. We all respect that. Francesco has spent 30 years in football, most of that time lacing up his boots and giving his all for Roma. If Francesco needs time, we’ll give him time.

“I’m sure he’s got lots of thoughts running through his mind about what he wants to do and he knows that I’m here for him, as I’ve always been here for him, before and since he stopped playing.

“Whether or not some of you believe that, I don’t really care. I know in my heart that I have been. You will not hear any criticism of Francesco from me or from anyone at Roma.

“Guido [Fienga] has sat down with him numerous times and spoken to him about the role and what it would entail.

“This is a very important role at the club, easily one of the most important and influential roles in our football operations, and the fact that we want him to take on the role says everything about what we think of Francesco.

“Alongside the new Coach, the next sporting director, Guido, Mauro [Baldissoni], myself and our support staff, we are putting together a strong team to help get AS Roma back to a place where we are competing for trophies and Champions League and in my mind, Francesco is an integral part of that.

“All of us together – not singularly – only want one thing and that is for Roma to win. That is what drives us all. It’s not about me and it’s not about Francesco or Guido or Paulo or the new sporting director, it’s about AS Roma.”

Even if the Giallorossi icon does take the job, it remains to be seen just how much power he will have at the Olimpico…

“Listen, I don’t know what is being said and by whom, because I’ve given up reading most of the media, but I believe Francesco already has great influence on our decision making.

“The idea with the new role though is to better define his position. Under Monchi, he didn’t really have a properly defined role but since Monchi has left, we’ve seen Francesco really step up and take on new responsibilities.

“Believe me, all of the decisions on the changes we’ve made this past spring – of people leaving or coming – Francesco has had more input than maybe even he thinks he has had.

“I speak to Guido daily and many times he’s passed on the thoughts that Francesco has given him.

“Francesco was instrumental in helping us bring in Claudio Ranieri. He’s also had a great input into the search for a new Coach – offering a lot of very useful advice.

“I said it in my letter a few weeks ago and it’s true, some of the best input into considering different Coaches came from Francesco.

“We work as a team, we make decisions as a team, and Francesco has been part of every football decision we’ve made – certainly since Monchi has left.

“Everyone knows what sort of player Francesco was, so if there’s anyone better at being able to judge a player we’re looking at, I’d like to meet him.

“In fact, when I went for dinner with some of my staff in London on Sunday night, Franco [Baldini] was saying again how great Francesco is at judging talent.

“In fact, since the start of the year, me and Guido have been looking to find a more important role for Francesco as part of the team because he can judge talent better than any of us.

“Guido, Franco and I have been 100% aligned in how important we think Francesco is to Roma.

“There’s no question we would like to see Francesco as a big part of our future and working with our senior football operations staff, he can begin to carve out a new chapter of his career.”

The American cut a frustrated figure for much of last season, so how is he feeling about the forthcoming campaign?

“I think everyone knows about my dissatisfaction last season and also my concerns about the season before, despite us reaching the semi-final of the Champions League.

“However, I can truly say that after the last couple of weeks of trying to put together a new team, with Paulo, a new sporting director, a new performance team and working on improving many other areas at Roma, I feel different.

“Walking through the streets of London in the middle of the night after finishing our conversations with the Coach, I felt more excited about the potential of Roma, and its role in the world of football, than I have ever been before.

“I hope I give people more of a chance to see that and people realise how much I care.

“Maybe I need to do a better job of showing that but internally, there’s no-one who cares more. I’m looking forward to the start of a new future.”