Cassano pleads his innocence

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Antonio Cassano insists that he wants to stay at Roma and says that he is being forced out of the club.

Cassano has been at the centre of a contract row for some time, and the Giallorossi recently suspended all negotiations, saying that they were fed up of the player and his agent.

But Cassano insists that the club are to blame for the debacle, claiming that he is even prepared to accept a pay cut in order to stay at the Stadio Olimpico.

"I want to remain at Roma. It's not me who wants to leave, but the club want me to," he claimed.

"In February they offered me money and then they told me this money wasn't available without explaining why.

"They are making a fool of me. I personally spoke with them on September 8 and said I want to stay at Roma. I also said I'd sign for a sum less than one they offered me in February, but now they can't make me the offer they'd like to."

"I've been the first to tell the club I don't want the money that [Francesco] Totti earns, because he's a symbol of this team and it's right he will earn more. I want less.

"I don't want to make a fool out of the supporters in the same way that the club is making a fool of me."

Earlier, director general Daniele Prade put forward the case for the club, saying: "We made an important offer that Cassano did not accept.

"As far as we are concerned, the issue is closed. It would have been the second highest wage deal at the club, second only to Francesco Totti, and it's not the kind of contract players are given nowadays."