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Roma face competition from Real Madrid and Barcelona to land Christian Panucci on a permanent basis at the end of the season.

The Italy defender is on loan at the Stadio Olimpico from Monaco, but agent Oscar Damiani said: "Other offers are on the table from Barca and Real Madrid, so Roma had better be careful."

Panucci was among several players recommended to Barca by Fabio Capello when the Roma coach was still in negotiations about taking charge at the Nou Camp for 2002-03.

Capello has since extended his contract in the Italian capital instead, but Barca remain keen on Panucci, who enjoyed a successful spell with Real Madrid earlier in his career.

Damiani explained that Panucci would prefer to stay with Roma, but admitted the defender could be tempted back to Spain if the Serie A giants do not offer him a long-term deal.

"Christian loves the special atmosphere at Roma and he would like to stay there permanently," he said.

"He also likes Capello and has fitted in very well with the other players and the fans. He is hoping that Roma offer him a contract before the summer.

"But Spain is always an option and you must not forget that Christian's wife is Spanish.

"Barcelona are prepared to sign him and will fight Roma for him. The Italian club have made contact with Monaco about a price, which has been quoted as £8 million. Clearly he will not stay with Monaco," Damiani told calciomanager.it.

Any deal in that region would represent a coup for the Championnat side, who picked up Panucci for a nominal fee from Chelsea in 2001.

He subsequently fell out with coach Didier Deschamps and was offloaded to Roma, where his form has helped the Giallorossi sustain their title defence and put him in the frame for a place in the Italy squad for the World Cup.
 

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Damiani explained that Panucci would prefer to stay with Roma, but admitted the defender could be tempted back to Spain if the Serie A giants do not offer him a long-term deal.





Well.... then Roma must offer Panucci a long-term deal, otherwise its arrivederci Panucci...
 

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Panucci Pledges Future To AS Roma


04/18/2002. The day after scoring for the Azzurri in the friendly match against Uruguay, Roma and Italy defender Cristian Panucci expressed his desire to remain with the yellow and red outfit for at least another season.

"I want to dedicate my goal to Capello, the club, and the city of Rome and its fantastic fans. I feel great here, and don't want to leave. I only want to remain with AS Roma!," exclaimed Panucci during today's press conference.

Panucci joined Roma on loan from Monaco back in autumn, and has of late been linked with possible moves to Real Madrid and Barcelona.
 

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Panucci wants capital stay Friday 19 April, 2002



Christian Panucci has told Monaco that he wants to be sold to no other club apart from Roma. The Italian international is currently on loan with the Giallorossi but a potential bidding war could tempt the French outfit to sell him elsewhere.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have both expressed an interest in the versatile defender who has had a wonderful season at the Olimpico.

"I feel great here and I’ve managed to play well in the short time that I have spent in the capital. I want to win things and I know this is the place to be in order to do that," he said.

"The time has arrived to start talking about my future and if there are problems then I will personally get involved. I only want to play for Roma."

Panucci’s form has been so good that he’s won a place back in the Italian national side and looks set to be included in the 2002 World Cup Finals. He scored his first international goal for eight years on Wednesday in the draw with Uruguay.

"I’m not paid to score goals but every now and again I do tend to find the target. The goal I scored against Uruguay is dedicated to Roma," he added.

"Especially for Coach Fabio Capello who wanted me, the club and the entire city with its extraordinary fans."

Panucci will come against his past on Sunday when the Italian champions play Milan at the San Siro in a must win encounter.

"I can’t forget Milan. When I return to the San Siro it is always special for me and I will never forget the European Finals that I played for the Rossoneri. And I will be eternally grateful to Adriano Galliani and Silvio Berlusconi," Panucci continued.

"But on Sunday we must beat them because we are playing a large chunk of our Scudetto chances. Especially if Inter lose at Verona against Chievo. But we are in the right frame of mind to collect an away win."
 
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