Fonseca refuses to answer Dzeko questions

Paulo Fonseca demands ‘more respect’ for Roma in the media after a 4-3 win over Spezia, but refuses to answer questions on his split with Edin Dzeko. ‘We proved we are all together.’

When Lorenzo Pellegrini scored the last-gasp winner for the 4-3 result, sparking wild celebrations, including Fonseca running up the touchline to join the group hug.

“It was an emotional moment. It would’ve been an injustice not to win this game, as we deserved to win fully, and it was a moment when we proved that we are all together,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

Fonseca was repeatedly pressed on the Dzeko situation and would not answer when asked if the striker has played his final game for Roma, or if their rapport is beyond repair.

“I already talked about this yesterday, I don’t want to say anything more. I understand your curiosity, but I don’t want to say anything else.

“The important thing is what we did here today, a great victory for the team.”

New director Tiago Pinto sat on the bench during the warm-up. Was he showing the club is standing by Fonseca?

“It was normal for the director to stay on the bench during the warm-up, there was nothing unusual.

“I am purely focused on my team. It is difficult to see that Roma are treated differently in the media – not Fonseca, but Roma – acting as if we are bottom of the table. I think Roma deserve more respect.

“I don’t pay attention to the media, I am just focused on my work.”

The Giallorossi are continuing to leak goals with wild abandon lately, as they’ve let in 10 during the last three competitive matches.

“I am the first to blame when we concede goals, but I think the circumstances around today’s goals by Spezia were team errors. Spezia never created the situations to score three goals today, it was totally against the run of play.”

Borja Mayoral missed two absolute sitters midweek against Spezia in the Coppa Italia, but scored twice this afternoon.

“I think he played well in the Coppa, he just didn’t score. He’s in a good period of form and I like that he scored two goals after that game. There are no second string players here, everyone can be a starter.”

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Fonseca continues without several key players

Edin Dzeko, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pedro, Antonio Mirante, Federico Fazio and Juan Jesus have been excluded from the Roma squad ahead of Spezia.

Paulo Fonseca faces his most delicate match of the season without a host of key players, as he revealed Pedro will be out and that captain Dzeko is injured ahead of the second leg against the newly promoted side this week.

Roma were eliminated from the Coppa Italia with a 3-0 defeat by default, even if they had already lost 4-2 to Spezia in the last 16 of the competition.

The second defeat by default of the season, after the Amadou Diawara case from the opener, has left Fonseca’s job hanging by a thread, according to reports in Italy.

He needs a win against Spezia, but Il Corriere dello Sport reveals Mkhitaryan will not recover from a muscle injury.

In addition to Pedro still struggling, Mirante and Riccardo Calafiori are also failing to recover from their respective injuries, while Fazio and Jesus have been excluded from the squad for technical reasons.

In Italy, reports reveal captain Dzeko’s future depends on Fonseca’s position at the Olimpico and claim the Bosnian could be heading for the door after the latest controversy. Sky Sport Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claims the striker is not injured and just left out.

Fonseca will trust Carles Perez and Lorenzo Pellegrini to deliver behind Borja Mayoral, as he seems set to continue with the 3-4-2-1 formation.

Roma (predicted line-up against Spezia):Pau Lopez; Ibanez, Smalling, Kumbulla; Karsdorp, Villar, Veretout, Spinazzola; Carles Perez, Pellegrini; Borja Mayoral

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Sevilla join Papu Gomez chase

Papu Gomez remains an outcast for Atalanta, but Sevilla are offering him a new opportunity in Spain.

The Argentina international has been frozen out following a dispute with coach Gian Piero Gasperini and so far no clubs have come forward with the €10m asking price.

There is also the concern that Atalanta don’t want to sell their talent to a rival within Serie A, which would rule out Inter, Roma and Milan.

According to Sky Sport Italia and Calciomercato.com, Sevilla have been working behind the scenes on the Gomez option.

The player said he wanted to remain in Italy for his family, but could be tempted by Spain.

Meanwhile, former teammates Maxi Lopez (Sambenedettese) and Luca Cigarini (Crotone) publicly urged Papu to join them in small clubs to enjoy his football.

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Roma surpass Juve for Reynolds

In a sudden turnaround, it’s reported Roma have beaten Juventus to the signing of FC Dallas defender Bryan Reynolds.

The Giallorossi had been the first to chase him down several weeks ago, then Juve emerged as the favourites, sending him on loan to Benevento first.

They had to take this step, because the Bianconeri have already filled their non-EU slots.

However, there were delays in getting the deal done and FC Dallas were more inclined to work with Roma than Juventus.

According to Il Tempo reporter Filippo Biafora this evening, Roma have turned the situation on its head and agreed a loan with obligation to buy at the end of the season for €7m.

It’s believed the Giallorossi offered immediate playing time in Serie A as well as an improved contract, €0.8m per season for five years.

Goal.com also report that Juve have no intention of improving their existing proposal or getting into a bidding war.

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Coppa highlights: Roma 2-4 Spezia

Roma imploded against Spezia in the Coppa Italia, a game that had everything including six goals, two red cards in 30 seconds, some incredible misses and too many substitutions.

The minnows got off to the strongest possible start, leading 2-0 through an Andrij Galabinov penalty and Riccardo Saponara curler.

The Giallorossi clawed their way back to 2-2 thanks to a Lorenzo Pellegrini spot-kick and delightful Henrikh Mkhitaryan dink.

Borja Mayoral really should’ve sealed it before the final whistle, as he missed at least two open goals when it seemed he simply had to score.

The Round of 16 tie went to extra time, but Gianluca Mancini received a second booking and 30 seconds later Pau Lopez saw red for wiping out Roberto Piccoli.

Daniele Verde and another Saponara stunner sealed the 4-2 scoreline for Spezia, but Roma would’ve been eliminated regardless, as they got confused and made six substitutions rather than the five that were allowed.

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