AS Roma Sporting director Tiago Pinto has revealed that while the club wanted to sign Granit Xhaka and the midfielder was keen on the move, Arsenal didn’t release the Swiss international. Pinto also admitted that it was the most difficult window but believes the club got through it well.
With Arsenal making changes to their team, it saw reports indicate that Granit Xhaka was set to leave the North London side amidst interest from AS Roma. The Giallorossi’s new manager Jose Mourinho was keen on signing the midfielder this summer and reports indicated that Roma even made an offer for the 28-year-old. However, no move materialised with Xhaka staying at the club and even signing a new contract.
But while fans and critics were shocked at that move, many believed that it was because Roma’s interest faded away but Tiago Pinto has refuted that claim. Instead, Pinto has revealed that Roma were keen on signing the Swiss international but Arsenal blocked the move. The Roma Sporting director also added that the midfielder was keen on the move as well but nothing happened and it’s his one regret.
"The market is closed and today I have fun, because we bought so many players but everyone asks me about the midfielder. Everyone knows we were after Xhaka, he wanted to come to Roma, but Arsenal didn’t release him. It’s my regret for this transfer market,” Pinto said, reported Goal.
The Giallorossi had a tough summer window with them, like most clubs across the world, affected by the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, they managed to let go of a few players on big wages and signed five players this summer including a big money move for Tammy Abraham. It saw Pinto further added that while it was “the most difficult transfer market in recent football history”, he believes the club did well.
"I can say that it was the most difficult transfer market in recent football history and we did a good job. I don't like to say that I'm a good sporting director, but we brought the best coach in the world to the Roma bench, we strengthened the team and placed many exits. We will talk about the things we weren't able to do, but we did well,” he added.