Chivu is on the brink of announcing his retirement as he faces more surgery on his troublesome knees.
Spalletti, who worked with Chivu at AS Roma, said: "Chivu is a great man as much as he is a great player. I understood immediately he would be valuable, thanks to his ability to play multiple roles. Great character.
"His best ability, however, was to be open-minded and to try to lend a hand to anyone who asked him for help.
"He's a great man and the results I achieved with Roma I owe thanks also to the value of Chivu."