Roma wanted Giroud as Dzeko replacement, confirms sporting director Monchi

Olivier Giroud was top of Roma’s list of transfer targets had Chelsea met the asking price for Edin Dzeko, according to the Serie A club’s sporting director Monchi.

Although the Premier League champions signed defender Emerson Palmieri from the Giallorossi, Roma rejected offers for striker Dzeko.

Giroud eventually moved from Arsenal to Stamford Bridge as part of a deadline day transfer triangle that saw Michy Batshuayi head to Borussia Dortmund on loan as a replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who became the Gunners’ record signing.

And Monchi confirmed Roma had Giroud in their sights if Chelsea had met the asking price for former Manchester City striker Dzeko.

“We would have signed another important player, perhaps Giroud, because otherwise the fans would have been really unhappy,” Monchi told Sky Italia.

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“The English club [Chelsea] never met our financial demands so the deal was never closed.

“No club are happy to sell their best players, but if a good offer arrives, it’s important to evaluate it.”

Giroud, yet to score for Chelsea, has described joining Antonio Conte’s side as the “obvious” choice, with Dortmund and Sevilla having also been keen on the France international.

Dzeko, meanwhile, said earlier this month that while he was “flattered” by Chelsea’s interest in his services, he could not bring himself to leave Roma.

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He told Klix: There was a lot of speculation, falsehoods and even a few ridiculous stories, and I’m really flattered by Chelsea’s interest, a club that I respect and admire very much.

“So many stories have been told about my departure from Rome over the past few weeks, but I am still here.

“After all, I am happy to stay because Rome has become my home and an indelible part of my life.”


Dzeko flattered by Chelsea interest but ‘Rome is home’

Edin Dzeko has admitted he was flattered by Chelsea’s attempts to sign him in January, but could not bring himself to leave Roma.

The Blues targeted the striker as they sought a backup option for Alvaro Morata, but their initial bid was deemed “not interesting” by Roma technical director Monchi.

After signing Emerson Palmieri from the Italian side, Chelsea remained hopeful of luring Dzeko to the capital until the final days of the transfer window but eventually turned their attention to other options and signed Olivier Giroud from Arsenal.

And Dzeko confirmed that he held talks with the reigning Premier League champions, but he feels at home in the Italian capital and did not want to move.

“It is true that negotiations have been conducted and that is all I can say about this topic,” he told Klix. “There was a lot of speculation, falsehoods and even a few ridiculous stories, and I’m really flattered by Chelsea’s interest, a club that I respect and admire very much.

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“So many stories have been told about my departure from Rome over the past few weeks, but I am still here. After all, I am happy to stay because Rome has become my home and an indelible part of my life.

“From the very first day I was accepted in Rome in an unreal way and I can never and will not forget it, and I have had some of the happiest moments in my life in this city.

“For the first time I felt the joy of fatherhood here when my daughter Una was born, and my son Dani was born in Rome. This city is now part of my life and it will always be.”

Despite finishing second in Serie A last season, Roma sit fifth in the table after 22 games and 16 points behind leaders Napoli.

The Giallorossi have failed to win any of their last six in the league, but Dzeko is sure they can overcome their poor spell.

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“The fact is that we haven’t celebrated a win for a long time, which is very frustrating for us, but we haven’t had enough luck in several games,” he said.

“We’re all working hard to get back to winning ways as soon as possible, but it’s going to be difficult.  We have quality and I’m convinced that it’s a question of when we will end this bad run and find a winning rhythm.

“I believe that there are many more beautiful moments ahead of us and we will succeed in achieving all our goals together.”


Roma did not need to sell Dzeko to Chelsea, claims club manager

Roma are “very happy” they have managed to keep Edin Dzeko amid interest from Chelsea and plan to sign Sporting’s Jonathan Silva to replace Emerson, according to club general manager Mauro Baldissoni.

Bosnia-Herzegovina international Dzeko had been strongly linked with a move to Chelsea, with Antonio Conte eager to add more firepower in the shape of a striker who offers both physical presence and quality in front of goal.

But negotiations with Roma for Dzeko ultimately failed, with Chelsea now said to be targeting Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud, as Michy Batshuayi looks set for a loan move to Borussia Dortmund.

And Roma insist they were never in position which required them to sell anyone, even though left-back Emerson Palmieri, unlike Dzeko, did get his move to Chelsea.

“We are at January 31 and Roma have sold one player, yesterday [Emerson, on Tuesday],” Baldissoni told Radio 24.

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“That is evidence that we do not need to sell, but we must take advantage of certain opportunities.

“We are nearly always in the Champions League, but if an unexpected bid comes in for a player like Dzeko which may be considered interesting, we have to evaluate it and see how the money could be used to remain competitive.

“The offer has to be taken into consideration. It is clear that if we needed to sell him [Dzeko], then we would have done so, but we stuck to our asking price because that represented an interesting opportunity.

“We are very happy that Dzeko will stay. If he had gone then it would’ve been up to the sporting management to find other solutions which kept us equally competitive.”

As for Roma’s deadline-day dealings, Baldissoni expects just the single arrival, as he confirmed Silva has been at the club for a medical with the view to replacing Emerson.

The Argentine left-back is currently at Sporting, having spent two years on loan at Buenos Aires giants Boca Juniors prior to returning to Portugal.

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“At the moment we’re talking about a team that has sold Emerson Palmieri but replaced him with Jonathan Silva, who has played the Champions League and made the final of the Copa Libertadores,” Baldissoni said.

“We haven’t weakened ourselves. I don’t think we will do much else, in the sense that he [Silva] has arrived to complete his medical examinations and he will replace Emerson.

“We will complete that deal and the sporting director is always on alert on the deadline day – situations can always occur, but there are no particular upheavals expected.”


Chelsea still hopeful of Dzeko deal as Giroud & Llorente emerge as alternatives

Chelsea remain hopeful of landing a deal for Roma striker Edin Dzeko but are now looking at Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud and Tottenham’s Fernando Llorente as alternatives, Goal understands.

The Blues have been after Dzeko for much of the winter window, but talks have stalled for now as all three parties have been able to come to any agreements.

Dzeko was seen as likely to be added this January alongside team-mate Emerson Palmieri, but for now the striker remains in Italy despite being keen on a move to Stamford Bridge while Emerson will undergo a medical ahead of a £17.5 million move .

As the window winds down, the Blues are looking at alternatives to Dzeko, with a possible opportunity to land London rivals Arsenal’s Giroud arriving via an unlikely source.

Michy Batshuayi has been angling for a loan move away from Chelsea, but has not been allowed to leave until the Blues find a new striker to replace him in the rotation. But in an interesting twist, the Belgian being granted a loan may well help land his replacement in Giroud.

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The Gunners appear near to a deal to land Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund . However, the Bundesliga side look more interested in securing the services of Batshuayi as a replacement for the Gabon international, rather than Giroud.

That has opened the door for Giroud to join the Premier League champions, with the striker eager for a move while the Gunners remain reluctant.

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Another option is Spurs striker Llorente, who Antonio Conte was interested in a reunion with prior to his move to Tottenham.

Llorente would also welcome a change of scenery as he hopes to secure more playing time than he has seen with Maurico Pochettino’s side this season. He has appeared in 13 Premier League games this year for Spurs, though he has only started on one occasion, scoring a single goal.

While the Blues do look at alternatives, they have not yet given up the pursuit of Dzeko. Chelsea hope the pressure of the transfer deadline can help a deal get over the finish line, though it is likely it will go right down to the wire.


Di Francesco: I’m not losing sleep over Dzeko-to-Chelsea rumours

Roma head coach Eusebio Di Francesco is not losing sleep over Edin Dzeko’s future at the club amid reported interest from Chelsea, with the situation to be resolved by the time the transfer window closes.

Dzeko has emerged as a transfer target for defending Premier League champions Chelsea, who reportedly are determined to bring in support for star forward Alvaro Morata.

Roma and Chelsea are yet to reach an agreement, though interest from England is believed to have cooled on the 31-year-old striker.

After Dzeko played 90 minutes in Roma’s 1-0 loss at home to Sampdoria in Serie A on Sunday, Di Francesco said the forward’s future will become clearer by Wednesday.

“What gives me sleepless nights is the performance in the first 25-30 minutes and failing to put the ball in the net,” Di Francesco told Mediaset Premium.

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“As for the rest, that will be resolved by January 31.”

Former Manchester City star Dzeko has scored 39 Serie A goals since the start of last season, including 10 this term.

Asked about Dzeko prior to Roma’s defeat in the Italian capital, director Monchi said: “Negotiations are normal when the transfer window is open. I speak to the coach every day, we are always together. It’s normal that when the window closes, we are all a little stressed, especially ahead of a game.

“We are very happy with the way the coach works and understands the movements that the club makes.

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“I saw Dzeko in the locker room … so we are in the same situation as other days. We are calm and happy he is here, hope he can continue building on the last game and score another goal.

“People ask about everything except the match. I know the market makes news, but we are all concentrated on the match.”

Monchi added: “Edin’s situation is not a difficulty. Edin is here, Edin played against Sampdoria on Wednesday and he plays tonight. We are in the same situation as eight days ago. I thought when a director speaks in Italy, people believe him, but evidently I have to earn that!”