As Francesco Totti’s contract is set to expire this summer, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has opened the door for him to move to Spain.
The 39-year-old has been involved in various reported bust-ups with coach Luciano Spaletti this season, with the veteran used sparingly in what could be his final year at the Stadio Olimpico.
Having been at the club since 1989, it has been a difficult situation for all concerned as the possibility of an exit looms, but Enrique is prepared to hand his former star an alternative option.
“If I could buy Francesco at a good price, why wouldn’t I bring him to Barcelona,” he told the press, as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“As a modest Roma supporter, I’d like for Totti to finish his career at the club. To see him wearing another club’s shirt wouldn’t be ideal, but he has the last word on that. For me, he should retire in Rome.”
Enrique spent a year working with the Italian legend during his less than successful short spell with the Giallorossi in 2011/12, and seemingly believes there is a place for the World Cup winner in his squad at the Camp Nou.
However, Roma supporters and Totti’s current teammates will undoubtedly hope to see the veteran continue in the Italian capital next season ahead of taking up a director role when he finally opts to hang up his boots.
As one of the last remaining ‘flag-bearers’ in Italian football, many within the game have been critical of Roma’s treatment of the club icon.
Given that everyone concerned knew that his current deal was set to expire this summer, the fact that no announcement has yet been made on his future despite there being just a few more weeks remaining in the season has led to frustration and even anger both inside and outside of the club.
Ultimately, Totti deserves to have his loyalty to the club rewarded with an additional year if he wants to continue playing. To see him leave Rome would be a real disappointment, and so it is hoped that an agreement will be reached in the coming weeks.