Roma boss Luciano Spalletti wants defensive signings this summer

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti has called for his defence to be strengthened ahead of the coming Serie A season.

The Giallorossi commence preseason training at their Trigoria training facilities on Wednesday and Spalletti does not want to have to wait too long to have a full squad to work with in view of a Champions League playoff in August.

Defence is his greatest concern and the 57-year-old coach made a plea for new arrivals to be drafted in ahead of their Champions League debut, having seen both Lazio and Napoli wait too long in recent years and subsequently fail to qualify for the competition.

"We need to sort out our defence, and [sporting director Walter] Sabatini knows it," Spalletti told Roma Radio.

"We've lost three out of four of our regular starters: [Lucas] Digne has gone [back to PSG], [Antonio] Rudiger is injured, Maicon has been a great player for the two years he was here and [Alessandro] Florenzi has done really well in that role, but we've still got to work out what his precise position is.

"These are things that, if you are a club aiming for the leading positions, you have to put right," he said.

"The club are doing the best they can, with all the problems there are in football today. We want to have a full squad before we go to the USA on tour in late July."

Given the lack of alternatives at the back, the proposed sale of Ervin Zukanovic to Palermo is unlikely to go through, although Leandro Castan is still set to join Sampdoria on a season-long loan.

He missed most of last season after needing brain surgery and he was unable to rediscover his best form in the handful of matches he played towards the end of the season, although his likely departure only compounds Spalletti's defensive problems.

When he returns to preseason training this week, he will have only Zukanovic, Mario Rui and Kostas Manolas to work with as recognised defenders.

"We've signed Mario Rui, but with Maicon no longer here we need a central defender and a right full-back, no matter what happens in our Champions League playoff," Spalletti added. "We've got quite an urgency."

Martin Caceres, who is a free agent after leaving Juventus, is one possible target while the Giallorossi may yet also make a move for their former defender Medhi Benatia, who favours a return to Italy from Bayern Munich this summer and is believed to be set for a move to Juventus.