Lucio reveals Roma desire

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BAYER LEVERKUSEN defender Lucio has revealed his desire to leave the German outfit to join Serie A side Roma.

The Brazilian stopper has been linked with the Roman outfit for some time and says he would love to play for the Italians.

Controversial club president Franco Sensi has backtracked on recent claims that he would sign Lucio, but the deal could still be on.

Lucio knows of Roma's interest and is excited at the prospect of not only linking up with international team-mate Emerson, but stepping into the Samba shoes of veteran Brazilian Aldair.

"God willing, I will go to Rome where I will be happy and grow as a player, where they have a trainer of great personality," said Lucio.

"I will be the heir of Aldair.

"The fact that the club is not playing in the Champions League means nothing, as with Totti, Emerson, Montella and the other players, they have the ability to bounce back.

"Emerson would be an essential point of reference for me. I know that I would be the successor of Aldair.

"That will be a big responsibility for me as from playing soccer in school to the national team, Aldair has always set the example.

"I just hope to go to Rome because there I know I would be happy."

Bayer general manager Reiner Calmund says that the club would be willing to do a deal with Roma, should the player be willing to leave the BayArena outfit.

"Roma are interested and their director of sport arrived in Duesseldorf on Tuesday," said Calmund.

"They want to speak to us.

"So far the Romans have behaved correctly. But I would begin to negotiate only if the player comes to me and tells me concretely that he would like to leave the club.

"This has not happened yet, so far."

Roma officials will have to come up with a package of around ‚é¼15 million to lure Lucio to Stadio Olimpico.

Juventus are also thought to be interested in Lucio and could use Uruguayan stopper Paolo Montero as part of a swap deal.

However, Lucio's obvious desire to move to the Italian capital should prove the decisive factor in the race for his signature, should the two clubs come to an agreement on a fee.