Newly appointed Roma coach Rudi Garcia has vowed to do his best to keep midfielder Daniele De Rossi at the club despite speculation linking him with a move away.
Goal understands Chelsea have opened preliminary talks with the Italian side over a move for the midfielder who is currently on international duty with Italy at the Confederations Cup.
However, Garcia says his priorities are to keep hold of the 29-year-old as well as strengthen the team by bringing in new signings.
“I'm working closely with [director of football Walter] Sabatini. We want to improve the squad but that first means retaining our best players - De Rossi is one of those,” he told a press conference.
Further outlining his plans for the 2013-14 season, the 49-year-old sees tightening things up at the back as the main priority for the Giallorossi - something De Rossi, whose contract runs out in 2017, would be a big part of as one of football's most highly-rated holding midfielders.
He added: “We have to work on the defensive side of the game. Roma conceded far too many goals last season.”
Garcia would not mention transfer targets by name but revealed that he is keen on importing a few players from his former club as well as a few others from Ligue 1, explaining: “I'm looking at a variety of players, both from Lille and elsewhere in France.”