Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini expressed his frustration over young Italian players from Serie A and lower leagues not being up to his club's standards.
Despite being on the verge of making highly-rated Italian winger Stefan El Shaarawy's loan move from Milan a permanent one, the Giallorossi director feels there simply aren't enough local players with sufficient quality to bring into his team's squad.
"Look, just today I was asking my scouts to find some valid Italians, from Serie A down to the lowest tiers," Sabatini said, as reported by Gazzetta dello Sport. "We examined them, and it was a disaster.
"There are no such players, at Roma they would end up being on the margins. People say that we only buy abroad because we get financial bonuses out of it. That's just talk," he continued.
"Who are the only valid young Italians? [Fiorentina's Federico] Bernardeschi, perhaps [Milan's Alessio] Romagnoli, but I suspect [joint-CEO Adriano] Galliani would show some resistance.
"But we'll confirm El Shaarawy. He deserves it and he has a great future. The cost isn't too high."
El Shaarawy's loan move to Italy's capital played a crucial role in the Giallorossi's late season ressurgence – the player having scored seven goals and provided two assists in a mere 13 starts.