Roma suitor rates England assistant Baldini

ROME - The American leading a consortium poised to buy AS Roma met England general manager Franco Baldini on Friday and was so impressed he has sparked media speculation linking the Italian with a role at the Serie A club.

"I didn't know Franco Baldini. He is someone who really knows his football. So I like him a lot," Thomas Di Benedetto was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency after the pair met in Tuscany as part of his trip to Italy to seal the takeover.

Baldini, an assistant to England coach Fabio Capello, was previously director of football at Roma.

Vincenzo Montella is now caretaker coach of Roma after Claudio Ranieri resigned in February but the hierarchy of the club could change once Di Benedetto's group completes a majority takeover of the cash-strapped Italian side.

Di Benedetto, who denies there are problems with UEFA over dual-ownership given he has been part of the group which controls Liverpool, is returning to the U.S. early after breaking a tooth at the Tuscan lunch, ANSA added.

Capello and Baldini are due to leave the England job after Euro 2012.

Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti, a former Roma player, has said several times he would like to manage the club at some point.