Mar 23, 2011

Manchester United In Talks to Sign £18m Italian “Paul Scholes”

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Sir Alex Ferguson moves closer to bringing Roma and Italy midfielder to Old Trafford.

Daniele De Rossi’s representatives have sounded out Manchester United to establish whether the Premier League leaders would consider an £18 million move for the Roma midfielder this summer.

The 27 year-old, who has played 63 times for Italy, is considering leaving the Serie A side he has supported since childhood after a turbulent three years in which his father-in-law was shot and killed in a gangland revenge attack and he separated from his wife, Tamara. United, like Real Madrid, hold a longstanding interest in the Roma vice-captain but have been consistently informed that he would not consider leaving the club where he started his career and his father, Alberto, remains a youth team coach.

Both clubs have now been informed, though, that De Rossi is prepared to leave the Italian capital in a bid to escape the troubles that have enveloped his life away from the game. Jose Mourinho, the Real manager, is thought to be keen to pair the player with Xabi Alonso, while Sir Alex Ferguson will be given funds this summer to strengthen his squad, with a replacement for Paul Scholes, along with a goalkeeper and a central defender, likely to be a priority.

The Scot is also believed to be examining the likes of Douglas Costa, the Shakhtar Donetsk player, and has also monitored Charlie Adam, of Blackpool, but his interest in De Rossi dates back to the player’s initial emergence at Roma. The midfielder’s contract, worth £60,000 a week and well within United’s budget, expires in June 2012 and it is believed Roma would not stand in his way should their price be met.

SOURCE: Daily Telegraph

Whilst he is no spring chicken, at 27 Daniele De Rossi has a great deal still to offer and the opportunity to finally capture a player he has been monitoring for some time may be too great a temptation for Sir Alex Ferguson to pass up. In many ways the Roma man is just what Manchester United need, a box to box midfielder with plenty of heart and the ability to score goals and break up play.

With Owen Hargreaves seemingly in treatment room limbo and unlikely to get a new contract in the summer, De Rossi also adds steel that the Old Trafford club could well do with. The comparison with Paul Scholes are also fairly accurate, although thankfully the Italian international does on occasion time his tackles well, although he is certainly not beyond playing rough, as Shakhtar man Dario Srna can attest to.

The price seems a fair one and it seems that a move to Real Madrid would be an unlikely one as the role he would take is currently being presided over both Lassana Diarra and Sami Khedira, two quality players who have done well this season.

Manchester United have of course a number of solid, if not spectacular, central midfield options. Darren Fletcher is consistent without being explosive, Michael Carrick has improved but is still a fairly sedate player who offers different attributes to De Rossi. Anderson has time on his side and has the makings of being a quality player but is arguably not there yet. Paul Scholes himself still has a lot to offer but is clearly nearing the end of his glittering career and doesn’t get forward half as much as he used to.

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