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Rome derby has high stakes

Roma
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Roma vs. Lazio set to be a classic

Serie A
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 By Ben Gladwell

Roma's Monchi wants Francesco Totti to become club director next season

Roma's new sporting director Monchi hopes Francesco Totti will accept the offer of a director's role next season, saying he wants to learn everything about the club from the 40-year-old.

Monchi recently revealed that Totti would not be offered a playing contract when his current deal expires in the summer, although he said a six-year contract is awaiting his signature to move upstairs.

Totti has yet to comment on his future beyond the end of the season, and has so far not confirmed that he will be retiring.

Monchi says he is, therefore, respecting his club's captain decision in the hope that he will lend him a hand next year and not seek to play on elsewhere.

"The future potential that Francesco has got is huge and we hope to be able to tap into it because he knows Roma better than anybody, and I, who am a new arrival, would have a great teacher to get to know everything as quickly as possible," Monchi is quoted by Gazzetta dello Sport as telling beIN SPORTS USA. "We're waiting for him to decide.

"He has asked if he can be allowed just to focus on the final three games [Roma now have two Serie A games left], and he has reminded us how the good of Roma is more important than any of us."

The ageless Totti has AS Roma threatening the top of the table, and playing an exciting brand of soccer.
Francesco Totti's future remains uncertain.

A potential stumbling block to Totti accepting the club's offer is the future of coach Luciano Spalletti, who has been criticised by fans for the way he has treated the former Italy international this season.

The pair are reported to not have the best of relationships, but Monchi says he would like to work with them both next season.

"Spalletti would be my ideal coach," he said. "He is the person I have wanted to continue working with since I arrived here. I'm enthusiastic about working with Luciano. Now that we are in contact on a daily basis, he has made a great impression and, well, let's just see how it goes."

Should Spalletti leave Roma at the end of the season, Monchi says the club would not be caught out.

"Obviously the situation is on hold," he said. "We are working in silence to try to find a different solution just in case Luciano does not wish to continue working with us."

Spalletti has been linked with the vacant position at Inter Milan, having recently stated his intention to leave Roma if he is unable to be successful this season.

Roma's 3-1 win over Serie A leaders Juventus on Sunday has narrowed the gap between the two clubs at the top of the table to four points heading into the final two games of the season. Third-placed Napoli are one point and one position behind Roma.

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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