Earlier in the week, Di Francesco confirmed that the club was in negotiations with Marseille over Strootman’s possible departure though the 48-year-old manager had reiterated that any speculation should not distract from his main focus.
“My interest is that all players have the desire to play for this shirt,” the Roma coach stated ahead of his side’s clash with Atalanta. “The team comes first and foremost.
“We have many midfielders at Roma right now, everyone can evaluate it, and I have to focus on the strength of the team overall.”
Strootman suffered a difficult start to life at Roma, with a series of cruciate ligament injuries ruling him out late in his inaugural 2013-14 campaign with the club and for much of the following two seasons.
However, following his return to action in 2016, he established himself as one of the key members of one of the few Serie A teams to keep pace with champions Juve, finishing second in 2016-17 and third in 2017-18.
The arrival of Javier Pastore and Steven Nzonzi though has rendered him surplus to key plans and his arrival at Marseille will bolster Garcia’s midfield line significantly.