Roma announce manager Paulo Fonseca will leave club ahead of Manchester United Europa League tie – ex-Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri could replace him

Roma have announced manager Paulo Fonseca will leave the club at the end of the season – just days ahead of their Europe League semi-final second leg match with Manchester United.

The Italian giants lost 6-2 to the Reds Devils in their first encounter, leaving them with a huge task to make the final.

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Fonseca has had tough recent run as Roma boss and will now leave at the end of the season[/caption]

If they don’t turn it around, the capital club could miss out on European competition entirely next season, as they battle with Sassuolo for seventh spot in Serie A.

Even then, that would only be good enough for a place in the play-off round of the inaugural Europa Conference League.

Former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has already been linked with replacing the Portuguese manager, who impressed at Shakhtar Donetsk before taking on the Roma role in 2019.

Sarri has also seen his name in connection to the vacant managerial position at Tottenham Hotpsur.

Sarri has been out of work since he was sacked as Juventus boss after one season in charge last summer
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Roma were third in Serie A up until mid-February but since Valentine’s Day they have been well below par.

They are winless in six games across all competition, including the 6-2 first-leg loss to United, and this form has been enough for club chiefs to act.

“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 club chairman Dan Friedkin in statement on the club’s website.

“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.

Bruno Fernandes and his Manchester United teammates blew Roma away after the Italians suffered a spate of first-half injuries
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“We wish him all the best for his future endeavours and know that he will be a great asset wherever he goes.”

Tiago Pinto, the club’s General Manager (Football), added: “I would like to thank Paulo for all his work for the club over the last two seasons.

“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 – 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.”

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A 2-0 loss to Sampdoria at the weekend was the final straw for Roma chiefs[/caption]

Meanwhile, Fonseca himself added: “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.

“I would like to thank the Roma fans, everyone we have worked with at Trigoria, the players, and all those who have helped us during this journey – in particular Dan and Ryan Friedkin, for their continuous support since they arrived, and Tiago Pinto, an incredible professional, whom I wish the best as he continues his work for the club.

“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.”