Mexes - I'm a Roma man
Philippe Mexes insists he wants to stay at Roma, despite speculation linking him with AC Milan.
Last Updated: 07/02/09 1:41pm
France centre-back Philippe Mexes has insisted he wants to stay at Roma, despite speculation linking him with a switch to AC Milan.
The player suggested last month that he would not be against a move to the San Siro in the future.
But, while admitting he is flattered to be linked with a club of the stature of Milan, he has insisted that he wants to stay in Rome.
The former Auxerre player told Corriere dello Sport: "I'm happy to talk about this because I want to clear something up.
"I want to stay at Roma. I'm happy here, I'm happy with my team-mates and I've always said that.
"The story with Milan started in newspapers but I have never had any contact with them.
"But if a team such as Milan is interested in me that can only make me happy, there's no need to tell lies.
"But sometimes as players you have to accept decisions taken by your club. I want to stay but in football things can happen that aren't of a player's choosing."
If Mexes was to leave, he insists he does not want to move to England.
"It's a great league but you can follow it on TV," he said. "It's a very spectacular football but that doesn't tempt me to go to an English club.
"I'm happy here and I like wearing this shirt."
Mexes has already turned down a move to the Premier League once before, when he left Auxerre in 2004.
The French side wanted to sell him to an English club who had bid more money for him but Mexes instead signed a deal with Roma despite still being under contract with Auxerre.
In response, Fifa banned him for six weeks for breach of contract, although that was later suspended on appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
But Roma were ordered to pay Auxerre 7million euros (reduced from 8million euros on appeal) for the deal.
"One thing that I want to clarify once and for all is that if I do leave I don't want the same thing to happen that happened when I left Auxerre and Roma were penalised for my transfer," he said.
"If I leave I want to leave on good terms."
On the field, Mexes is looking forward to playing Arsenal at the Emirates in the first leg of their last 16 tie in the UEFA Champions League later this month.
"That will be a great match. There's no need to build it up because the motivation takes care of itself," he said.
The Gunners will be without playmaker Cesc Fabregas, something that Mexes is far from disappointed about.
"I hope they're also missing other players!" he jested. "But jokes aside my only hope is that we win."