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Roma coach admits interest in 'The Beast'

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti has confirmed that the Serie A club are hoping to sign Julio Baptista from Real Madrid.

Baptista, nicknamed 'The Beast', is expected to leave the Bernabeu this summer and his agent has admitted he would welcome a permament transfer to Roma.

Spalletti sees the powerful international as an 'ideal' player, but insisted he had other options if the move failed to materialise.

Spalletti said: 'It is true that we are in talks for Baptista, but in a relaxed atmosphere.

'He has great potential and is ideal for our situation, but I don't want to create tensions within the club.

'Baptista can occupy several different roles. He has played as a centre-forward and a midfielder in front of the defence.

'He can easily settle in to the team and is suited to our style of play, the philosophy of our squad. But there are other players, because we have to be ready.'

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