Premier League

Rodgers looks to add depth

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Sat, 18 May 2013 10:16:00

Bologna head coach Stefano Pioli has committed his future to the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara before the managerial merry-go-round spins into life at the end of the Serie A season.

An impressive revival in the second half of the Rossoblu campaign saw Pioli's men pull well clear of the bottom three with a top-10 finish a faint possibility should other results accompany three points at Genoa.

The Parmesan tactician has been linked with the expected vacancies at Napoli and Roma but, after leading Bologna to victory over Emilian rivals Parma, he quickly reaffirmed his commitment to his current club.

He told La Repubblica: "There are no ifs or buts... I'm staying at Bologna.

"I know that a lot of people leave their answers hanging at this point in the season but I've already decided. I'm definitely staying at Bologna. That's my choice.

"I feel satisfied, gratified and held in high esteem here and this project is yet to really get off the ground. There are no ifs or buts, I'm staying."

With defenders Nicolo Cherubin, Mikael Antonsson and Roger Carvalho, goalkeeper Gianluca Curci and midfielder Lazaros Christodoulopoulos unavailable through injury, Pioli could hand more game time to second-string players including stopper Dejan Stojanovic, who impressed in Parma.

"It was an important win for the lads and I'm happy for them," Pioli added. "There were several guys out there that haven't played much this season and I have to thank them too."

Sunday's game might have been a last-ditch battle to survive for Genoa had the remaining relegation issues not been decided last weekend.

A point from the Grifone's goalless draw against Inter Milan confirmed both Siena and Palermo's fate, allowing president Enrico Preziosi extra time to consider the future of coach Davide Ballardini.

In what would be a bizarre twist, the toy wholesaler could turn to Luigi Del Neri, who was sacked in January after losing nine of his 13 games in charge.

He told the Corriere dello Sport: "Ballardini does not have a contract with us, Del Neri does. And Del Neri is a good coach.

"I can't deny that I'm thinking about him, because he is great when working with teams from the very beginning of the season."

Midfielders Marco Rossi, Cristobal Jorquera and Ruben Olivera join defenders Cesare Bovo and Damiano Ferronetti on the treatment table.

The Reds boss accepts another season without Champions League football will affect how much he has to spend this summer and leave them trailing behind the sides above them - with the exception of Everton.

Owners Fenway Sports Group are likely to put up about ?20million for new players with the manager needing to sell to raise additional funds.

But he hopes to avoid the mistakes of last summer and believes the changes made to backroom staff during his first season in charge will help.

"I think there will be a natural transition in the summer because we need to improve our depth because the squad was very shallow," he said.

"You want to do your business as early as you can and we will look to reinforce but come the beginning of the season we would hope to have a squad ready to challenge.

"The scouts are doing a terrific job - they are leaving no stone unturned in order to get us the players we need. "

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