Francesco Totti has told Roma that he wants to continue playing next season, according to the Eternal City club's sporting director Walter Sabatini.
The 39-year-old's contract is up for renewal in the summer and discussions are ongoing between the player and club bosses, with an announcement imminent. Sabatini touched on some of the talks he has had with the player in an interview with Mediaset television, and confirmed that it is the club captain's intention to play on.
"When you arrive in Rome and say that Totti is the light over Rome's skyline, because it never goes out, then I would say that still applies today because Francesco's still not gone out," he said.
"I asked him 'do you want to quit while you're still at the top, or maybe do it after?' and he told me that he wants to carry on playing because he feels he can still do it.
"He's got an almost adolescent love for football. Francesco believes that his technical, dynamic and physical attributes can stand the test of time. He's got a real passion for football. It's not true that we haven't spoken about it yet -- [president James] Pallotta spoke with Totti months ago."
Totti has nevertheless been given limited opportunities to play this season, although he has made a positive impact in recent substitute appearances, scoring three goals in his last three games, despite being on the field for only 25 minutes.
According to Sabatini, coach Luciano Spalletti has been dosing his appearances perfectly to get the best out of his captain.
"Spalletti has just done his job," Sabatini said. "He's played Totti when he felt it was right to do so, and he's got great results to be honest.
"And it is he who has fielded him, not the press or anybody else. So the coach can be left out of any possible controversy because he has just done his job. I'm amazed by what he is doing. Sometimes people think that all you need is good players, but you also need the right manager and Spalletti is a maestro in this."