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Paulo Fonseca to leave his Roma coaching gig

Paulo Fonseca will leave his job as Roma coach at the end of the season, the Serie A club confirmed on Tuesday

Paulo Fonseca

“On behalf of everyone at AS Roma, we would like to thank Paulo Fonseca for his hard work and leadership over the past two years,” said chairman Dan Friedkin, who took over the club last summer.

“Paulo guided the team through many challenges, including the Covid pandemic and a change of ownership, and did so with selfless integrity and great character.”

According to media reports former Juventus, Napoli and Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is favourite to take over the three-time Italian champions who last won Serie A in 2001 and are trophyless since 2008.

Fonseca, 48, joined the club in 2019 on a two-year contract with the option for a third year if the club reached the Champions League next season.

The club finished fifth in Serie A last campaign and are currently seventh, nine points behind city rivals Lazio who sit sixth and have a game in hand.

Roma trail Premier League side Manchester United 6-2 going into Thursday’s second leg of their Europa League semi-final in the Italian capital.

“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,” said Fonseca.

“We still have some very important games in front of us this season that we want to win, and we will continue to give our all in order to do so.”

Fonseca replaced Claudio Ranieri, who had a brief spell as coach after Eusebio Di Francesco was sacked in January 2019.

Di Francesco had guided the club to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018.

Fonseca, a Portuguese national born in Mozambique, previously coached Shakhtar Donetsk where he won the league and cup double in all three seasons with the Ukrainian club.

He also won the Ukrainian Super Cup in 2017.

Fonseca has also coached Portuguese clubs including Pacos Ferreira, Braga and Porto.

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