Now, more than 18 months later, the Italian midfield general is still being linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium (via Metro), and it’s slowly reached the point where it’s critical the Premier League title-holders land their man.
While their vast expenditure of the last four-and-a-half years has made the club a veritable powerhouse amongst the Premier League’s elite, speculation would dictate that Manchester City are never quite satisfied in terms of improvement.
The key to becoming one of the bigger sides would appear not to rest solely on a team’s starting XI, but it also relies largely on whom a manager can bring off the bench.
Roberto Mancini currently has a host of talent capable as a defensive midfielder in his side, including the likes of Yaya Toure, Javi Garcia, Gareth Barry and Jack Rodwell.
That being said, the younger Toure brother is undoubtedly better suited to a more offensively structured role, performing to his best when positioned behind the attacking line.
Add to that the ongoing injury woes of Jack Rodwell, which the Guardian recently reported Mancini as admitting are a problem, and that broad selection begins to wane.
Most regularly playing out of a 4-2-3-1 formation, De Rossi’s arrival would assuredly secure him a starting spot alongside the aging Gareth Barry, with Garcia easing in as he becomes more accustomed to England’s top flight.
Roma’s talisman has proven both on the club and international levels what a talent he is at anchorman, and his purchase would not only see him play to his maximum in a star-studded side, but it would also allow those around him to function at their best.
The trademark of any good manager, Roberto Mancini has shown his willingness to shift as the situation sees fit concerning tactics during his time as Citizens boss.
One such sign of that malleability is the Italian’s habit of switching tactics and formations, varying between a 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2 and 3-5-2 strategy.
As he did at Euro 2012, De Rossi is more than just a midfielder and, like many modern utilities, can operate comfortably out of alternative positions, most notably centre-back.
Such an openness to change is always an attraction for managers, and Mancini’s adoration for his compatriot will only increase with the fact that he would fit in amongst his lineup with such ease.
In what’s becoming a younger and younger City side by the transfer window, De Rossi would be a valuable asset for any aspiring starlet to learn from, and his expertise across various areas of the pitch just makes his wisdom more applicable to more players.
In his 11 years with Roma, De Rossi has won three domestic titles, none of which were Serie A victories, but that battle-hardened prestige makes the veteran that much more useful to Mancini and his men.
While the rumours may have started almost two years ago, the truth is that Daniele De Rossi’s arrival couldn’t come at a better time as far as the potential English recipients should be concerned.
Speaking to tuttamercatoweb.com (h/t Sky Sports), Manchester City fitness coach Ivan Carminati spoke of the club’s current interest in Roma’s talisman, saying:
"This is a question that is beyond my scope. I can say that Manchester City are a club that aims only for top players and De Rossi is one of them."
At 29 years of age, De Rossi is firmly in the period of his career that most deem to be the playing prime for a footballer, and the decision to wait on any transfer would see De Rossi miss out on his best years as a Premier League player.
AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi recently described Mario Balotelli as a “rotten apple” following his most recent spat with manager Roberto Mancini (via Telegraph), and many now question the striker’s future at the Etihad.
Teetering on the abyss, Balotelli’s situation at City has reached the make-or-break stage, and who better to help the potential world-beater mature than his compatriot and international team leader?
While De Rossi certainly wouldn’t be brought in solely to help another player’s situation, the possibility of salvaging Balotelli’s progress is merely an added bonus to any deal that could be struck.
Although one could understand why De Rossi would remain at a club where he has spent his entire senior career and is tied to until 2017, the Citizens would be smart to make one final push to bring the Italian in this January.
You can follow me on Twitter @TomSunderland.
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