FRANCESCO TOTTI has been offered a new six-year contract at Roma – as a director.
The Italian club’s president, James Pallotta, was coy on the playing future of the 40-year-old striker, whose deal expires this summer.
Totti has spent his entire 25-year career at the Stadio Olimpico, debuting as a 16-year-old.
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Speaking after Roma’s 3-1 win over Sassuolo, Pallotta revealed: “We’ve not spoken [about his playing future] but Francesco has a six-year contract as a director.
“Our objective now is to qualify for the Champions League, even if the season’s not over yet because [league leaders] Juve still have to play Napoli so I’m hoping for a draw in that game.
“We’ve just got to think about this now, not about contracts. I’m confident we can finish second. The Champions League is where this club belong. We’ve slowed down a bit, but I think we’ll pick up the pace again towards the end.”
Roma boss Luciano Spalletti has threatened to leave the club if he fails to win Serie A this season.
They currently sit eight points behind Juventus in second.
But Pallotta said: “Maybe I’m just a stupid American but I’d prefer second place and the Champions League, but of course we want to win the Coppa Italia too.
“If we play like we did against Lyon [in the Europa League], we can make it. I want [Spalletti] to stay, but it is up to him to decide. It’s not down to me.”
Spalletti, 58, argued the decision is not entirely his to make.
The Italian coach even claimed fans would celebrate if he quit.
He said: “I’m happy to hear those words from the president.
“If we are winning, then great, but if we don’t win, then you have to leave. It’s not only down to me, but to everybody. My contract is worthless and the same goes for the players.
“People are always talking about [my future] among reporters and it’s you guys here in front of me I’m up against. You make Roma out to be an entirely different world to what it really is, which is a garden in full bloom.
“Even if there are people who always want to make out that things are ugly here, they are actually beautiful.
“We’ve worked correctly and seriously this year. Last year, we did what Inter [Milan] are doing this season, yet it appears like we did nothing at all.
“If I do walk away, there will be people here popping the [champagne] corks.”
Serie A (1) – 2000-01
Coppa Italia (2) – 2006-07, 2007-08
Supercoppa Italiana (2) – 2001, 2007
World Cup (1) – 2006