Montella: I'd welcome back Ljajic to Fiorentina with open arms

The Viola boss believes the Serbian has not been afforded enough playing time this season and says he would be happy to take him back to the Artemio Franchi on loan
Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella says he would welcome back Adem Ljajic "with open arms" should he wish to leave Roma.

The 22-year-old joined the capital club last August but has struggled to cement his place in Rudi Garcia's starting line-up during an inconsistent campaign.

While Montella has hinted la Viola could no longer afford the Serbian's wages without help from Roma, he says he would not hesitate to accept a loan deal to bring the attacking midfielder back to the Artemio Franchi.

"I don't think he's had enough continuity in the capital," he told a press conference. "If we get him on loan and maybe split the salary, then we'd welcome him with open arms."

Montella has yet to beat Roma as Fiorentina coach ahead of Saturday's encounter at Stadio Olimpico, and the 39-year-old - who spent 10 years with the Giallorossi as a player - jokingly suggested he lacks the heart to defeat his old club.

"I don't know why I have never been able to beat Roma as [Fiorentina] coach,"said the former striker. "Maybe it's because I love them so much!

"But joking aside, I think they've only deserved to beat us on one occasion. In other matches, we've always left the pitch thinking we should have got more.

"I think maybe the difference between us and Roma in the league is down to our European campaign and the absences we've suffered. Maybe their squad is slightly better than ours, but in terms of 11 versus 11, I don't see much difference."