Roma boss Zdenek Zeman has taken another swipe at out-of-favour midfielder Daniele De Rossi, paving the way for his exit from the Stade Olimpico.
The 29-year-old Italian legend is regarded by many as one of the best midfielders of his generation, but speculation over his future has mounted due to a poor run of form, suspension, and, according to his manager an attitude problem.
Both Manchester City and Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain are rumoured to be interested in signing the Italian international – with his compatriot Roberto Mancini the favourite to secure his services at the Etihad.
In recent months Zeman has dismissed suggestions that his team’s captain could depart from the Italian capital but his recent comments points to the contrary.
“De Rossi is not a problem, but he hasn’t performed the way he should have,” said the manager, continuing,
“He has not integrated himself into the squad as he did in previous season.”
Di Rossi is a legend for both club and country and has been playing football in Rome for more than a decade – he joined Roma’s youth ranks in 2000 and has made 289 appearances for the club. He’s paid good service to his country as well, scoring 13 goals in 82 appearances at senior level.
Along with Juventus’ maestro Andrea Pirlo he is regarded by Italians as one of the best midfielders of his generation and earned the Serie A Footballer of the Year award in 2009. He was also included in the Euro 2012 Team of the Tournament at the championships earlier this year.
He has built his reputation on his passion, commitment, and determination for club and country – but his manager claims his attitude has been wayward this season.
Perhaps, if the manager’s assessment is accurate, the player has his sights set on new challenges.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has been a long-time admirer of the Roma captain and, as recent reports have suggested, is interested in bringing the midfielder to Eastlands – potentially as early as the imminent January transfer window.
In light of Zeman’s comments about his captain, any interested parties will likely be on red alert, waiting in the wings to make a move for the skipper.
image: © Damien Cansse