American businessman and Roma president James Pallotta has given us some quote gold as we progress through the transfer window.
The poor guy has had to repeatedly deal with people asking him about new articles written in England declaring his players will be leaving for the Premier League. For months – nay, years – Kevin Strootman has been a “Manchester United target” while others also get mentioned.
He’s admitted that it gets on his nerves.
“I do get annoyed,” Pallotta told Bleacher Report UK. “I think the papers have finally given up on the Strootman thing, because Kevin’s come out and addressed it, saying he likes it in Italy and he has a five-year contract. And by the way, I wasn’t going to sell him anyway!”
And Strootman isn’t the only one he’s had to deal with, although he’s probably the worst, at least in England.
“The Liverpool thing with Pjanic is the same. We have another four years with him, and we love him,” Pallotta declared.
He did admit that he is a “businessman” so nobody is unsellable, but it would take what he calls a “stupid” offer to pry these players from his grasp.
“My view is that I don’t want Kevin to go, for example, but if someone offers a huge amount, you at least have to listen to them. You’re running a team, so you have to look at what’s best for everyone, not just one individual. That’s the way the world works.”
Roma has always been a big player in Italy (a “sleeping giant” as Bleacher Report appropriately called them), but last season they took success to new heights, finishing second behind Juventus and qualifying for the Champions League in a manner that had nobody declaring they would be a one-and-done. This season has been more of the same, and they sit just three points behind Juventus for the table’s top spot. With this success comes the rumors, but Pallotta is clearly in things for the long-haul.
They’re backing up his words in the transfer market. This summer the club only lost one big-name player in Mehdi Benatia to Bayern Munich. Otherwise, Roma was in buy mode, Kostas Manolas to replace the sold defender, as well as Juan Iturbe and Radja Nainggolan. The year before that, they sold high on Marquinhos, Erik Lamela, and Bojan, but backed it up with the shrewd purchases of Strootman, Benatia, and Gervinho.
Certainly the club is willing to sell for profit, but not without – as Pallotta put it – a “stupid” offer. At the moment, Roma is the perfect model for success both in the wallet and on the field.