As the transfer window drew to a close, Manchester United reportedly put in a £12m offer for Daniele De Rossi. Ed Woodward had promised us a world class talent and De Rossi seemed to fit the bill. He was 30-years-old, so obviously older that we had probably wanted, but he ticked all the other boxes.
Unsurprisingly, nothing came of our interest and United settled for Marouane Fellaini instead, who’d had plenty of good games against us and had done a decent job for Everton. He was hardly the superstar that we had been told would be joining us though.
De Rossi joined Roma when he was a kid and is nicknamed Capitan Futuro (Future Captain) by the fans, with the expectation that he will one day replace club legend Francesco Totti as club captain.
Roma finished 6th last season and missed out on the Champions League, prompting De Rossi to consider a future away from the club. However, in an interview this week, he has claimed he would have committed suicide by now if he had left Roma for Manchester United.
“It was a good thing that I didn’t go to Manchester, now I would have committed suicide!” he told Corriere dello Sport. “Last summer I didn’t feel comfortable, I didn’t recognise myself in the relationship with my team-mates and with the fans.”
Whilst the translation of this is fairly harsh, those with an understanding of Serie A and Italian media have claimed that this statement was more to do with his happiness to be at Roma, than any slight on United and our current position.
Roma are currently 2nd in the league, 5 points behind leaders Juventus and 5 points clear of 3rd placed Napoli, so having never won the league with his boyhood club, he certainly would be kicking himself now to see how well they are doing.
David Moyes was asked about De Rossi’s comments yesterday but claims that United came in too late for the player.
“We certainly did think in the summer about bringing him here,” he said. “I don’t think it went as far as a bid, because I think there was something to do with a deadline on his contract. But yes, he was a player we thought was a good player.”
Roma’s coach Rudi Garcia has confirmed that United made an approach for De Rossi but it came too late for the club to accept.
“I said to him that I couldn’t lose him at the last minute so we fixed a date after which he would not move,” Garcia told L’Equipe. “The first league match came and a few days after Manchester United called the club, called him, but the date had passed and he didn’t move.”
So, basically, if Ed Woodward had put in a bid for De Rossi at the beginning of the summer, the club were ready to sell him and the player was ready to leave. As it is, he waited until the last minute, and we missed out on signing a world class midfielder. Cheers, Ed!