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Capello's right-hand man Baldini eyes up Roma

Franco Baldini is to ask the Football Association for permission to combine his duties as England general manager with taking on a new role at Serie A club Roma.

The Italian has given his word to England manager Fabio Capello that he will see through their qualification campaign for Euro 2012 and participation in next summer's tournament should they qualify, before leaving the FA to work full-time for Roma.

There is pressure from the club's new owners on Baldini, one of the most highly rated figures in European football, to take a formal position sooner as Roma's new general manager.

Baldini (50) will not seek to join Roma until -- and if -- qualification for Euro 2012 is secured this autumn and would then like to combine both roles until England's participation in the tournament has ended, when his contract expires.

The Italian will seek talks with the FA soon to try to see whether they are willing to allow him to have the two roles at the same time.

Baldini is Capello's right-hand man and is also the conduit between the management, the clubs and the players as well as carrying out a large amount of scouting and preparation.

It is well known that Baldini has been advising Roma for some time and was involved in the appointment of the club's new coach, Luis Enrique, and also targeting several new players.

Baldini has close links with Roma, having worked there with Capello when the club won the Italian title and remains popular with the club's fans.

At a press conference yesterday, Roma's new sporting director, Walter Sabatini, said: "Baldini will be here in the next few months once he has resolved his contract with England. As soon as he is free, he will return to Rome."

But it's unlikely that Baldini will walk out on England and will remain in his present role, with Roma hopefully keeping his future job open for him, if he is not granted permission by the FA. But if Capello did lose Baldini, it would be a huge blow to him and the FA. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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