Gerson backed by Roma chief amid No. 10 shirt controversy

Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini has defended new signing Gerson after he angered fans by parading a No.10 shirt bearing his name rather than Francesco Totti's.

The Brazilian arrived in Rome on Thursday to undergo a medical, but will return to Fluminense until January.

But before flying to Rome, he posted a picture on Twitter that showed him holding up a Roma No.10 shirt with his name on it -- and that sparked anger from fans who see it as belonging only to their captain.

When the 38-year-old retires, Roma are likely to retire his shirt number.

But Sabatini told Roma Radio: "I sent the shirt to Gerson to attract the player.

"He's got nothing to do with it -- please show some respect for him. What does this lad know about it?

"He was proud to show the No. 10 of Totti because I wanted him to show one of the best things our club can offer on an international, worldwide level, and Totti is one of these things.

"We love Totti, we respect him and we will be with him for the rest of his life if he wants. Nobody can possibly replicate the things he does."