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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Chievo boss Pioli reveals Roma talks

Roma have held dicsussions with Cheivo manager Stefano Pioli about becoming the Giallorossi's permanent replacement for Claudio Ranieri.

Pioli, 45, has been heavily linked with the post in the Italian press, but his relative lack of big-club experience makes him a surprising candidate nonetheless.

The former Juventus and Fiorentina defender has managed the likes of Salernitana, Modena, Grosseto and Piacenza in the past, with a one-year spell at Parma in 2006 his most high-profile appointment to date.

But Pioli could be set for his biggest position yet after revealing that he has held talks with Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini.

"Yes, I've met Sabatini," Pioli told TeleRadioStereo. "It was a positive meeting, but now we just have to wait and see. It was a useful chat, one where we could get to know each other, for him to understand how I want football played.

"Obviously it is pleasing that my work is being recognised by such a prestigious club as Roma. I'll talk with Sabatini again next week, once I have also held discussions with Chievo.

"My contract is expiring, but I do have the option to stay for a further campaign. I'll talk with Chievo, then with Sabatini."

Vincenzo Montella took on the Roma job on a temporaray basis after Ranieri left the club in February but has been unable to steer the club into Europe, with the Giallorossi set to miss out on Europa League qualification to local rivals Lazio.

Despite Montella receiving plenty of backing from Roma's players, changes are predicted at the Stadio Olimpico as American businessman Thomas DiBenedetto is close to completing his purchase of the club.

Pioli has emerged as the favourite, but Roma have also been linked with Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas Boas of Porto, Marseille's Didier Deschamps, Delio Rossi of Palermo and Walter Mazzarri of Napoli.

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