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May 28, 2010

Adriano confirms Roma deal is close

Adriano has confirmed that he is close to returning to Italy with last season's Serie A runners-up Roma, and promised to restore his reputation in Europe by firing in the goals for the capital club.

Roma coach Claudio Ranieri revealed that a deal was in the pipeline for Adriano on Thursday, stating: "Adriano is our gamble. We don't know if it will be a winning one."

And the former Inter Milan striker confirmed that he will return to the country where he made such an impression, before a battle with alcohol addiction curtailed his career.

"I am 90 per cent a Roma player and will speak to President Rosella Sensi on June 6 to complete the move," Adriano said.

"Among the reasons I chose Roma, I found pride was more important than money. I am enthusiastic about their plans and they've been after me for six months."

Adriano returned home to Brazil on unpaid leave to rebuild his reputation with Sao Paulo in 2008 and in 2009 re-joined hometown club Flamengo where he recovered some of his previous form to win the league title.

But he admitted that the draw of demonstrating his ability in one of Europe's top leagues again proved impossible to resist, and insisted that he has unfinished business in Italy.

"I am happy to return to Italy, as I needed something to cancel out the bad times here and I feel I owe it to the Italian people," he said. "They've always treated me kindly and I left in unfortunate circumstances.

"After learning so much in my time at Flamengo, I feel that I can make it. It's a decision I have thought about long and hard, so I am happy to come back to the city of Emperors.

The transfer has yet to be finalised but Adriano expects a deal to be agreed in the next couple of weeks, with the striker admitting that he is excited about the prospect of playing alongside Roma captain Francesco Totti.

"I had no problems with Flamengo and leave here amicably. I was very happy, but today I feel it important to come back to Italy. I don't want to repeat some of the things that happened to me.

"I am not up to the standard of a great like Francesco Totti, but will push to reach his level and I think I can give my contribution to Roma."

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