Euro club chief can’t shake ‘regret’ after doubling down on failed Arsenal plan

Roma director Tiago Pinto

Roma director Tiago Pinto says that his club’s failed transfer raid for Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka forms the major basis of his summer regret.

The Serie A side enjoyed a successful summer window to help Jose Mourinho with his first season as manager. Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham’s arrival has proved the highlight. Indeed, the Englishman will look to get his career back on track after falling down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, former Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio has signed up to the new regime at the Stadio Olimpico.

However, Mourinho wanted Switzerland international Xhaka to complete a triple swoop from the Premier League.

The deal looked close at one point, before Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta revealed he would be staying. In fact, he then signed a one-year contract extension until 2024 with the option of an extra year.

Reflecting on his side’s transfer window, Pinto admitted that he wanted Xhaka in Mourinho’s team.

He told reporters (via Gianluca di Marzio): “The market is closed and today I have fun, because we bought so many players but everyone asks me about the midfielder.

“Everyone knows we were after Xhaka, he wanted to come to Roma, but Arsenal didn’t release him.

Granit Xhaka, Gabriel Martinelli Arsenal TEAMtalk

“It’s my regret for this transfer market.”

Despite Xhaka deciding to stay at Arsenal, he has not enjoyed a good start to the new season.

Arsenal have lost all of their opening three Premier League games, scoring no goals and conceding nine.

Xhaka also received a straight red card in the 5-0 defeat to Manchester City.

Xhaka frustrated at red card

Granit Xhaka Arsenal

However, he has taken issue with the decision last Saturday.

Xhaka said: “After such a false start, you get criticised. That’s normal and part of it. Every player has to accept that.

“About the red card: brutally surprising! In connection with the Premier League, people often talk about English toughness.

“I hit the ball 100 per cent and got a red. The pictures were not checked by the VAR. I’ve seen tougher tackles that weren’t even assessed as a foul.”

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