Manchester United and City could be set to battle it out for Roma’s Daniele De Rossi in the January transfer window as it has emerged that both are interested in the midielder.
Sir Alex Ferguson is rumoured to be considering joining the race as he tries to solve his current injury crisis that began with Nemanja Vidic’s season long lay-off, with Anderson and Darren Fletcher also out.
If Ferguson could bring De Rossi to Old Trafford it would enable him to move Phil Jones from his recent midfield position back to central defence.
Blues boss Roberto Mancini is also looking for a midfielder as Yaya Toure departs for the Africa Cup of Nations so a move for De Rossi could boost his already well stocked central-midfield cabinet.
A draw-back for Mancini is the 28-year-old’s wage demands; it is rumoured he would be looking for a £200,000-a-week deal, a rise of over 300 per cent from his current £60,000-a-week contract with Roma.
These mammoth demands are nothing compared to other Man City players, but as the UEFA financial fair play guidelines are due to come into effect next year, De Rossi may have to lower his expectations to enure he gets his move.
And he is keen to move; previously seen as a one-club-man and the darling of the Stadio Olympico faithful, he now considers himself an outcast.
Speaking in March he told reporters: “They [Roma fans] used to treat me as one of their own, they would tell me to throw in another elbow, but now the wind has changed.
“For a year and a half, the things I’ve heard that have given me the most pride have come from outside Rome.
I have had moments at a low ebb, in which I wasn’t at my best.”
He has also fallen out of love with the city itself as he moved his family from it after a gangland revenge attack left his father-in-law shot to death during a turbulent three-year period in which De Rossi separated from his wife.
The Italian international was linked with a move to Real Madrid and Manchester United in the summer and the figure mentioned was around £18m.
Representatives of the player notified both Real and United of his desire to move but actually met with United officials so it would appear they are in the driving seat, especially as Roma are interested in Dimitar Berbatov with a cash-plus-player swap deal on the cards.
Whether this would be enough in January is unclear but it does seem that De Rossi’s days in Rome are numbered, whether he moves in January or the summer remains to be seen.