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September 2, 2009

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Spalletti resigns as Roma coach

AS Roma coach Luciano Spalletti has quit the club after its poor start to the season, he told reporters yesterday.

"I have given my resignation and the club has accepted it," he said.

Media said Roma, which has lost its opening two league games, was in talks with Claudio Ranieri about taking the job. Reports said the former Juventus coach, born in Rome, had been seen meeting club president Rosella Sensi.

Spalletti was earning 3.6 million euros (US$5.1 million) per season and had a contract with Roma through June 2011. It wasn't immediately clear what type of financial arrangement he made with Roma to facilitate his departure.

Former Udinese coach Spalletti was appointed in 2005 and helped a stylish Roma finish second in Serie A in 2007 and 2008.

It also won the Italian Cup in both those years but started last season badly and ended up sixth in the league.

Roma's spending power had become limited under Sensi but separate takeover talks with billionaire investor George Soros and a Swiss consortium fell through.

Supporter unrest grew at the end of last season and Spalletti, who had been linked in the media with the Juventus job after Ranieri's sacking in May, held talks with Roma about his future and opted to stay.

However, the sale of midfielder Alberto Aquilani to Liverpool and the lack of major buys increased the frustration.

A 2-3 defeat at Genoa in the opener and Sunday's 1-3 loss at home to Juventus sealed his decision to leave despite Roma's progression from the Europa League playoffs.

Ranieri began his playing career with Roma, but only played six games for the club.


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