Daniele De Rossi has spent his entire career with AS Roma. But after more than a decade helping lead the Giallorossi, it might be time for a change of scenery for the veteran. Chelsea are one club that should be heavily involved in any potential sweepstakes.
Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror reports Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is a longtime admirer of De Rossi and feels now is a perfect time to pursue a £10 million deal to acquire him. Roma are coming off a disappointing campaign, and changes could be on the horizon.
Now, after Roma president James Pallotta confirmed "everybody is on the market" following the club's failure to qualify for either of the new season's European competitions, the Special One could finally get his man.
De Rossi would be an ideal fit for Chelsea should Roma decide to sell. The 29-year-old Italian international is coming off a rather mundane club campaign, but was in far better form during the national team's run in the Confederations Cup.
He was one of the key contributors to an Azzurri squad that reached the semifinals, where they pushed powerhouse Spain to the brink before losing on penalty kicks. Should De Rossi move to Stamford Bridge, that's the version the Blues would be expecting.
All told, the midfielder has made over 400 appearances across all competitions for Roma and 90 more for Italy. He's appeared in countless big matches, including that heartbreaking loss to Spain, and continues to leave his mark after more than a decade playing at a high level.
What's made him so good for so long is a combination of consistency and versatility. Even in what would amount to a down season with Roma, De Rossi was still a reliable contributor in a defensive role and remained one of the club's leaders.
That's exactly what Chelsea should be looking for in the midfield. They have plenty of flash and potential in the likes of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar. Getting a little more substance and stability by adding De Rossi would be a wise move by Mourinho.
The Chelsea boss is probably hoping to make a major splash in his return to the club. The door is open for exactly that with Manchester United undergoing changes after Sir Alex Ferguson decided to step away after last season.
Consistency is one thing the Blues struggled with last season en route to a third-place finish in the Premier League. There were flashes of championship form, but they didn't last long enough to keep pace with the often dominant Red Devils.
Players such as De Rossi are a major asset in that area. Even if his offensive contributions are limited, his ability to steady the midfield and help defensively when the attack isn't in top form leads to extra points along the way. And they all add up in the end.
The reported £10 million price tag would be completely reasonable for a player of his caliber. Even though it doesn't sound like a decision about his future is imminent, Chelsea should continue to push for a deal before other clubs join the potential race for his signature.
De Rossi is exactly the type of player the Blues need to boost their trophy hopes heading into next season.