Transfer news

Garcia wanted Michael Bradley stay

January 10, 2014
By Ben Gladwell, Italy Correspondent

Roma coach Rudi Garcia has expressed his regret at losing Michael Bradley to Toronto FC, although he admits the move was the best solution for the U.S. international.

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Bradley, 26, has completed his return to MLS after eight years away, spending time at Heerenveen, Borussia Moenchengladbach, Aston Villa and Chievo before joining Roma, where he was finding it difficult to hold down a starting berth under Garcia.

The form of Daniele De Rossi, Kevin Strootman and Miralem Pjanic, and the arrival of Radja Nainggolan from Cagliari, made it unlikely he would be given enough playing time in the run-up to the World Cup. Garcia nevertheless would have preferred not to sell him.

"It's a pity for Bradley because I wanted to keep him, but he wanted to play and I therefore wish him all the best of luck for the new adventure he is embarking on," Garcia said on the club’s official website after Roma booked a place in the quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia with a 1-0 win over Sampdoria on Thursday night.

"He's done well in these six months with me. We've got competition for places for everybody now and that will only make us stronger."

With Bradley leaving and Nainggolan arriving, Roma may even add an extra dimension to their play given the former Cagliari midfielder's versatility.

"It's always better to have different options to be able to play in different styles and, with Radja, we will have more possibilities," Garcia said.

"All I ask now is a favour from everybody -- warn me if any of my players talk about the quarterfinals in the next few days. The chapter on the Coppa Italia is closed; first we have the game against Genoa, and then we'll think about Juventus.

"Our aim was to get back to winning ways and we've done that tonight. There will be time for the Coppa Italia, but on the Sunday before that we've got to play Livorno and we want to arrive at the match against the Bianconeri with six more points in the league."

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