Francesco Totti can play beyond this season for Roma - Luciano Spalletti

Luciano Spalletti reckons Roma veteran Francesco Totti can continue playing beyond the 2016-17 season despite the club president's claims that this will be his last.

The 2006 World Cup winner inked a one-year contract extension last month to cast away doubts of his future, with Roma president James Pallotta stating that the 40-year-old will then take on an unspecified role within the club.

Spalletti has refuted his president's claims and believes his star man can extend his playing career if he shows the same kind of form he did last season.

"Pallotta can say what he wants," he said. "But Totti will stop only when he himself decides to. In my opinion, that won't be this year, either.

"He will stop when he wants. I cannot decide and neither can you. You want Totti to stop playing this year, to destroy him psychologically, to take him on a tour of the pitches and museums.

"But if he continues to produce the same kind of statistics, he can still play."

While Totti will continue to be a mainstay with Roma, Spalletti is more concerned with midfielder Miralem Pjanic's departure, after he left the club to join Serie A champions Juventus for a reported €32 million fee.

"Substituting Miralem will be difficult," he said. "He has quality with his feet and in his decision-making. However, our objective remains to compete with Juventus and all the top teams."

Roma will be heading into UEFA Champions League qualification after finishing third behind Napoli and Juventus in the league last season.