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Walter Sabatini Resigns as Roma’s Director of Sport

What has been rumored for months has finally come to fruition. After five seasons at the helm, Walter Sabatini has stepped down from his Roma post.

SSC Napoli v AS Roma - Serie A Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Walter Sabatini’s always uneasy relationship with Roma has officially come to an end today, as everyone’s favorite chain smoking, Jorah Mormont look alike has resigned from his post as Roma’s director of sport after years at the helm. Sabatini was originally expected to see out the remainder of the year, but apparently had a sudden change of heart, leaving Roma temporarily director-less.

We say uneasy simply because Sabatini never seemed to have the full faith of Roma management, and certainly not the fans. From his tenuous co-management position with Franco Baldini to the worldwide haranguing that followed his poor record over the past year and a half--highlighted by the Victor Ibarbo, Juan Iturbe and Seydou Doumbia disasters—Sabatini has never had an easy road to hoe in Roma.

However, Sabatini’s tenure was not without its masterstrokes. One needn’t look any further than his captures of Erik Lamela, Marquinhos, Kevin Strootman, Mehdi Benatia and Radja Nainggolan to see what he was capable of when he was on his game. The problem was that he seemingly couldn’t get out of his own way, typified by the moves we mentioned in the prior paragraph. After building a solid skeleton of a team, Sabatini time and time again failed to equip that skeleton with a solid and flexible musculature.

In Sabatini’s absence the club has appointed Frederic Massara as their new Director of Sport. Whether or not Sabatini’s protege is merely an interim appointment remains to be seen, however, with connections to Ariedo Braida, Andra Berta and Sevilla DS Monchi, we can’t simply assume Massara has been the man in waiting all this time.

Whatever the case may ultimately prove to be, Roma are once again in upheaval, a situation further complicated by Massara’s ambiguous job title, which could and will make for an interesting winter market, to say nothing of the club’s ongoing negotiations with Radja Nainggolan and Kostas Manolas over new deals.