Daniele De Rossi: Roma must 'pull out all the stops' to keep Luciano Spalletti
Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi has backed Luciano Spalletti to stay in charge of the club next season, despite speculation he will leave at the end of the current campaign.
Spalletti still has over a year left to run on his contract with Roma, but has hinted that he will not fulfil it if he is unable to bring a trophy to the club this season.
Recent eliminations from the Europa League and Coppa Italia mean he can only now deliver the Serie A title, yet his side have a six-point deficit on league leaders Juve with eight games of the season left, and reports claim that he has already made up his mind to leave.
De Rossi says it would be a mistake for Roma to let Spalletti go, though, saying they should "pull out all the stops" to convince him to stay on.
"He's been the coach who has had the greatest influence on my career," De Rossi told Undici magazine. "Roma should pull out all the stops to keep him. I've started to see football through his eyes and it's beautiful. Regardless of what I decide to do, and regardless of the fact he sometimes has a difficult character, Roma should keep a tight hold on him because they would be stronger together."
De Rossi's own future is also uncertain with his contract due for renewal at the end of June.
He says he has not yet made up his mind, but after 17 years with Roma, retirement or leaving the club for another adventure appear to be at the bottom of his list of preferences.
"It's something I am going to have to discuss with the club sooner or later," De Rossi said. "But I'm not thinking about it. I want to carry on playing for a bit longer. Living without Roma would have been more painful to me than not having been involved in a Real Madrid-Barcelona match, or never having set foot in any of England's most beautiful stadiums and not having won certain things."
Looking back on his career, De Rossi also reflected on some other coaches he has worked for, including Claudio Ranieri and Antonio Conte.
"Ranieri is the coach I had my best season with," said the 33-year-old, who came the closest he has come to winning Serie A with Roma under Ranieri in 2009-10. "Conte dazzled me [with Italy]. I love people who are direct and who tell you the truth. He's an animal on the touchline and it's not easy to be one of his players, but it's beautiful to be one."
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.