AS Roma manager Rudi Garcia gave a press conference in Denver prior to his side’s International Champions Cup match against Manchester United which takes place on Saturday.
The second year boss was peppered with questions about the immediate future of his Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman, as well as a number of other topics.
The Dutch international has been the topic of constant transfer speculation since the arrival of Netherlands coach Louis Van Gaal at Manchester United.
Speculation has been that the manager and player could be reunited at Old Trafford this summer, or during the January window.
When the 50-year-old manager was asked if Strootman was “unsellable,” he replied: “Kevin is a Roma player. He will be this year and we all know this.”
The media continued to delve into the midfielder’s current status by asking about his fitness/recovery. Strootman had surgery on his left knee in March that led him to miss the remainder of Roma’s season, as well as the World Cup.
Garcia responded: “Kevin is continuing his rehabilitation as scheduled. We’ve thought, intelligently in my opinion, that it would be best for him not to travel with us – it’s better for him to stay in Boston to work with our medical staff and physios. He should start running very soon, maybe in a few days.”
Of course, a member of the press directed one final question at the Serie A club’s boss regarding his crocked midfielder.
The interviewer asked: “Are you sure that Strootman wants to stay at Roma?”
Garcia gave his final thought on the topic: “Only Kevin can answer that, but we’ve never spoken about selling him – not even at club level. There’s nothing for me to add.”
The Roma manager was then asked about his expectations for tomorrow’s match at the Sports Authority Field At Mile High in Denver, CO.
Garcia said: “The main thing is our physical condition. I don’t think anyone will play for more than an hour tomorrow. We’ll see a lot of changes to the team, as we did against Liverpool.”
One member of the press even went so far as to ask Garcia if Manchester United’s 7-1 victory over Roma during the 2006/07 Champions League “still rankled” the club.
Garcia’s response: “What can I say about this stupid question? Nothing. It doesn’t make sense, this is a game against one of the biggest teams in any aspect – economic, sporting, or in trophies. It’s a great challenge for us.”
Kickoff for Saturday’s match between AS Roma and Manchester United is schedule for 4:10pm EST. The game will be shown live on US TV and Internet via FOX, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN.com and FOX Soccer 2Go.
Meanwhile, here are video highlights from Roma’s 1-0 victory against Liverpool at Fenway Park earlier this week: