Spalletti responds as suggestions emerge that he could return to Roma to replace Fonseca

Luciano Spalletti could return for a third spell at Roma, reports claim – but he has responded by praising Paulo Fonseca.

Roma have lost their way under Fonseca, despite the Portuguese coach impressing earlier in the season.

There had been little pressure on him before the suspension of Serie A in March. However, since the return, results have not helped his cause.

Now, journalist Nicolo Schira claims Franco Baldini is not happy with Fonseca’s work, and is considering Spalletti as a replacement.

  

Baldini is likely to play a bigger role in Roma’s business over the next few months. The club have suspended sporting director Gianluca Petrachi, so Baldini is set to step up.

And if the controversial advisor persuades Roma to dismiss Fonseca, he may cast his eyes towards Spalletti.

Fonseca now has the third worst points-per-game tally of all the permanent managers under James Pallotta’s ownership. In contrast, Spalletti had the best – but he was a controversial figure himself.

If it actually materialised, it would mark a third spell in the Roma dugout for Spalletti. His first tenure lasted from 2005 to 2009, in which he became the last coach to win a trophy with Roma.

His second spell saw him replace Rudi Garcia midway through the 2015-16 season. Spalletti inspired Roma to a record points total the season after, but his faltering relationship with Francesco Totti overshadowed his return.

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Whether a return for Spalletti is really on the cards – and other sources have dismissed it – it would send shockwaves around Italian football if it happened.

However, the 61-year-old has since responded to Serie A’s official channels with his own comments on Fonseca.

“I feel that Fonseca has brought the discussion of attacking football back to the forefront. He wants to attack and he’s clear about how to carry it out.

“He has also been good at adapting immediately to our league, because he’s reacted to changing circumstances.

“If they let him work, he will always give Roma’s demanding and knowledgeable fanbase very enjoyable matches.”

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