Roma director Tiago Pinto admits Rick Karsdorp is on the market and defends José Mourinho, Tammy Abraham and Paulo Dybala adding that the club is in ‘no rush’ to extend Nicolò Zaniolo’s contract.

Pinto spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport, in his first interview with an Italian paper in almost two years. One of the matters of debate was the future of Karsdorp who had been accused of being unprofessional by Mourinho after a 1-1 draw against Sassuolo in November.

“After the game with Sassuolo and Mourinho’s words, the player committed serious professional misconduct, by not showing up for training and not participating in the tournée in Japan,” said Pinto.

“We avoided controversy by working internally with the player’s entourage. Ricky is back, he has trained and played. Unfortunately, somebody wanted to show off earlier this week and burn the job we had done.”

Last week, a member of the player’s entourage blamed Mourinho saying that the Dutch defender would leave in January.

“I don’t if he is still his lawyer, but he was looking for fame rather than continue working to solve problems,” admitted Pinto.

“The same happened with Fifpro who made a statement without even talking to Roma. Karsdorp has never been frozen out of the team, despite not showing up twice.

“Our coach was straightforward, but after games, the emotional part emerges, there are many examples, also among the top clubs in the Premier League. These things happen in football, but many have forgotten about the best version of Karsdorp, who has started 60 games in 18 months under Mourinho. We accept criticism, but I can’t accept that a player makes the most of the situation to affect Roma.

“He [Karsdorp] is on the market, but he will never leave for free. If he goes, we must find a way to keep the team balanced, but not necessarily by signing a new full-back. With Celik, Zalewski, Vina, Spinazzola and El Shaarawy, the wings are covered anyway.”

Paulo Dybala has returned to the club after winning the World Cup with Argentina and Pinto hopes La Joya will play a vital role at the Stadio Olimpico in the second part of the campaign.

“I see him happy here, he needed to feel important and he can do that at Roma. He feels at ease in the dressing room and with the coach and fans. He does not fear that Roma are not big enough for him and he will help us reach the level we want.”

On the other hand, Tammy Abraham hasn’t been able to replicate his brilliant debut season at the club and there have been criticism from the media and even from his coach Mourinho.

“There are big expectations on him. When he does well, they say he can always do better. But this also depends on his great value,” said Pinto.

“Tammy is a great striker, he didn’t score a lot in the first few games of the last season but in the end, he scored 27. He knows he can do well, Tammy is crucial for a competitive Roma.

“I am sure that in the second part of the season, all the players will raise the bar, the team is aware that we must improve performance immediately.”

Among them, is Nicolò Zaniolo who has only scored two goals in 14 appearances this season. His contract expires in 2024 and the club is expected to meet the player’s agent Claudio Vigorelli at some point in the coming months.

“There’s no rush, as his agent Vigorelli said. Now we focus on the pitch. We have a good dialogue with Nicolò and his entourage, we’ll find a moment to talk, in the end, there will be no problems.”

Chris Smalling’s deal runs out in June and he has been linked with Inter and Juventus, but Roma want him to stay.

“We want to keep him and he must give us an answer. He has a clause to leave, we paid €15m plus commissions to sign him and his salary is €4m. Roma ingested a lot on him, waiting patiently when he was injured, he knows we rely on him.”

One thought on “Roma director clarifies Karsdorp-Mourinho situation, opens up about Abraham, Dybala and Zaniolo”
  1. “I don’t if he is still his lawyer, but he was looking for fame rather than continue working to solve problems,” 

    Sounds like Mourinho, not Karsdorp.

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