Rodgers looks to add depth

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. “