AS Roma president James Pallotta has warned Liverpool and Real Madrid that a ‘sack of money’ won’t prise Alisson Becker away from the Italian capital this summer, with I Giallorossi chief insisting he no longer runs a selling club, despite concerns over Financial Fair Play (FFP).
Liverpool face Roma at Anfield on Tuesday night in the first leg of the hotly anticipated Champions League semi final. While Mohamed Salah will be lining up against his old club in the tie, after leaving Rome for Merseyside in a £37m deal last summer, Pallotta is adamant that the days when his club are strong armed into selling their biggest stars are gone.
Pallotta did however admit that Liverpool are interested in Alisson, who has been dubbed one of the best goalkeepers in the world after a standout season in Serie A and Europe.
The Brazilian is reportedly a summer target for both the Reds and Real Madrid, with figures of £70m – a potential world record fee for a goalkeeper – thrown around in the press. However, Pallotta insists Alisson is going nowhere this summer, despite the interest.
“I have no interest in selling Alisson,” he told Sky Sports Italia. “I know that in several clubs, including Liverpool, said they wanted him. We have a good contract with him.
“I’m sure some team will come with a sack of money to get him. When that happens, the decision will be up to the coach and Monchi, but we do not want to see him go. He is a pillar of what we want to build, we want guys like him.”
Pallotta went on to compare the club’s situation with previous instances in which Roma had caved and sold star players in the past – including Salah.
“If we think about [Miralem] Pjanic or Salah, we had no choice,” he continued. “There was no such decision that we wanted to sell Pjanic, it was not like that.
“If I had spent more time with him, if he’d told me he wanted to stay, I would have tried to convince him. Although, maybe, we would have sold him anyway.
“Salah wanted to leave to test himself in the Premier League.”
“We have sold a lot in the past seasons and it’s not what I want to do now. We have some difficulties with FFP. We have to take this into account, but once resolved it will change many dynamics.”
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