14 March at 14:00
There were scenes of unbridled joy at the Stadio Olimpico last night as Roma reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in ten years.
A narrow 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk put Eusebio Di Francesco’s men in the last eight and the biggest smile of the evening was on the face of Sporting Director, Monchi.
Having seen some of their top stars depart the Eternal City over the past few seasons, Roma’s passage into the latter stages of the Champions League guarantees them a €58M windfall; a sum that will be welcomed with open arms both in Rome and in Boston, as President James Pallotta celebrates six years at the helm.
The Giallorossi are trying to balance their books in line with Financial Fair-Play and this season’s Champions League run may just have secured some of their big names for the 2018-19 campaign.
Chief protagonist here is Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson, who has yet to see his net breached at home in Europe this season.
The 25-year-old, who joined the capital club in the summer of 2016 for a mere €8M, is now worth five times that amount and Premier League giants Liverpool have made no secret that they would like to bring him to Anfield at the end of the current campaign.
Monchi however, wants to turn the Giallorossi into a major European powerhouse and selling the likes of Alisson, as well as midfield dynamo Radja Nainggolan, is hardly going to help his cause.
Having seen Mohamed Salah leave for Liverpool last summer, and Miralem Pjanic head to Juventus in 2016, Monchi is determined that the big money departures stop right there.
Having confirmed total trust in Di Francesco, despite some indifferent form this season, Monchi now wants to give him the tools to make Champions League quarter-finals part of the seasonal routine in the Italian capital.
When he inspects his current toolbox however, Di Francesco will be impressed with some of the items already in there.
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