Francesco Totti offered a club director role at his beloved Roma, with playing future uncertain

Luke Brown
The Independent
Totti could be set with a move upstairs at AS Roma: Getty
Totti could be set with a move upstairs at AS Roma: Getty

AS Roma legend Francesco Totti, who has played at the Stadio Olimpico for the last 28 years, has been offered a six-year director contract by the club president James Pallotta.

However, Pallotta has refused to be drawn on whether or not Totti will play on for a 26th full season.

Totti, who turns 41 in September, was offered a one-year contract extension last season on account of his impressive performances at the end of the season, which included a pivotal free-kick goal in the 3-2 comeback win over Genoa.

But this season he has been limited to a role on the periphery of the first-team and has managed to score only two Serie A goals this campaign: his lowest goal return since the 1995/96 season.

Roma first joined Roma aged just 13 (Getty)
Roma first joined Roma aged just 13 (Getty)

"We've not spoken [about his playing future] but Francesco has a six-year contract as a director," Pallotta was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport after Roma’s 3-1 win against Sassuolo.

"Our objective now is to qualify for the Champions League, even if the season's not over yet because [league leaders] Juve still have to play Napoli so I'm hoping for a draw in that game.

"We've just got to think about this now, not about contracts. I'm confident we can finish second. The Champions League is where this club belong. We've slowed down a bit, but I think we'll pick up the pace again towards the end."

Totti is a revered figure in the city of Rome and, should he signal an intention to continue playing, it is highly unlikely the club will be able to deny offering him a further extension.

Roma’s coach, Luciano Spalletti, has certainly thrown his support behind the 40-year-old playmaker and in February he suggested he would resign in protest if Totti was not retained by the club.

"Don't ask me about how well my team is doing, ask me about Totti," he said at a news conference after Roma's win against Torino, in which Totti had featured.

"It is only right that his contract is renewed. Totti doesn't have a contract with this club, he has a pact of love with this city, and this is something that has to continue.

"I will go even further: if they send him away at the end of the season then I am not staying, not even if I win the Treble. I don't want him to retire while I am the coach."

Totti in 2007, with the coveted Capocannoniere award for the best player in Serie A (Getty)
Totti in 2007, with the coveted Capocannoniere award for the best player in Serie A (Getty)

However, Pallotta – a billionaire American businessman who became president of the club in 2012 – has said he is eager for Spalletti to stay, which means Totti’s future at the club looks assured.

“I want [Spalletti] to stay, but it is up to him to decide. It's not down to me,” Pallotta commented recently.

What to read next

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes