Lima set to join Roma exodus
By Nadia Carminati & Patricio Figueroa
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Jonathan Zebina and Walter Samuel have both already left the Giallorossi as the club's financial problems force them to cash in on their biggest assets.
Now Brazilian international Lima looks set to be heading for the exit door with a move to La Liga his favoured option.
"I will leave Roma with respect and tranquillity," he stated. "I've lived here three years and I improved my career.
"Roma are a big club and they will remain in my heart. I've received many offers from Spain, but I will decide after my holidays."
Manager Fabio Capello is already planning for next season without some of his key players and it appears strengthening the defensive line is now his priority.
"Walter Samuel has been a pillar of Roma, and considering also Zebina's departure, we don't have many defenders remaining at the club," he said.
"We will have to evaluate that when we consider what to do in the market and who we try to buy."
One player who could be on his way to the Italian giants is French defender Philippe Mexes.
The player - who recently missed out on a place in the French squad for Euro 2004 - appears set for a move to Rome and representatives from the Serie A outfit are due to watch him in action at the weekend.
Mexes is seen as an ideal replacement for the departed Samuel who agreed a deal to join Real Madrid on Thursday.
The Argentinian - who was also a target for Chelsea - was a popular figure during his time in the Italian capital and openly thanked the club's fans for their support.
"I am leaving Roma knowing that I always gave the best while I had the honour of playing in Roma's colours and helping them win the Sudetto and the Super Cup," he stated in a letter to the club's tifosi.
"I want to thank all the people who I have shared four good years with and I hope I have left a good impression of myself as a footballer and a person."
Samuel added: "I will never forget Roma because it was the team that gave me the chance to arrive in European football."