Soccer-Coach Fonseca to leave Roma at the end of the season


FILE PHOTO: Europa League - Quarter Final Second Leg - AS Roma v Ajax Amsterdam - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - April 15, 2021 AS Roma coach Paulo Fonseca reacts REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

ROME, Italy (Reuters) - Paulo Fonseca will leave his role as AS Roma coach at the end of the season, the Serie A club confirmed on Tuesday.

The announcement comes two days before Roma face Manchester United in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final tie, a match Fonseca will still oversee with his side trailing 6-2.

"Even if the results have not always been there on the pitch, we know that he has left many positive elements that will continue to help our development," Tiago Pinto, the club’s general manager said.

"Like the many talented and young players he has encouraged and improved, and our progress in the Europa League this season. We are building a path to success at Roma, and Paulo has played an important role in that."

Fonseca led Roma to a fifth-placed finish in Serie A last season but has struggled this term.

Roma looked to be on course for a top-four finish that would secure Champions League football for next season at the turn of the year, but one win in their last eight league matches has left them seventh in the standings.

"Over these last two years we have experienced a number of highs and lows, but I have always given my all for this club and this city - a city that has always been so welcoming," Fonseca said.

"I would like to thank the Roma fans, the players, and all those who have helped us during this journey. We still have some very important games in front of us this season that we want to win."

Reports in Italy say that former Napoli, Chelsea and Juventus coach Maurzio Sarri is being lined up as Fonseca's replacement.

(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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