Edin Dzeko revealed that team-mate Alessandro Florenzi had even offered him the AS Roma captain’s armband to convince him to stay.
Since his arrival from Manchester City in 2015, Dzeko has become one of the Serie A’s most prolific forwards down the years. In total, he’s scored 87 goals in 179 appearances for Roma in all competitions.
These impressive stats in the Italian capital had allegedly captured the interest of Inter Milan. With Mauro Icardi on his way out, Antonio Conte’s side made signing a new striker a top priority this summer before eventually signing Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United.
However, Dzeko chose to commit his future to Roma by signing a new three-year contract last week. It means the 33-year-old will remain a Giallorossi until 2022 at least.
“They went to great lengths to keep me here,” Dzeko told Roma TV.
“I want to thank them and now I need to give my all on the pitch, as always.
“It’s really nice to see that other people are happy that I’ve stayed here. My team-mates aren’t just team-mates: we’re friends, brothers…
“They were always on my back: ‘You’re not going anywhere – you’re staying here!’ I have a great relationship with them all.
“[Lorenzo] Pellegrini and Florenzi were on at me every day: ‘You’ll stay here – you’re not going anywhere’. Florenzi would say: ‘If you sign, I’ll give you the captaincy!’
“When I did sign, he said: ‘It’s yours!’ But I said: ‘Ale, you’re our captain and we’re all behind you’.”
Dzeko added: “I said that Rome was my home after I signed the new deal – but it’s not the first time I’ve said that.
“I’ve always said it and I really do feel that way. My family feels that way too, especially my wife and also my kids, who were born here in Rome. We were on holiday recently and my daughter Una kept saying: ‘Let’s go home to Rome!'”
“We spoke at the end of last season and they told me they wanted me here and that I was part of the project for the future of Roma,” Dzeko added. “During pre-season over the last two months, they made me feel important.
“In the end, we were able to achieve what we all wanted. I’m here and I’ve signed for another three years because I want to stay here and because I’m happy.”
Dzeko, who scored nine goals in 33 Serie A games last season, will hope to open his scoring account for the new campaign in Roma’s league opener against Genoa on Sunday.