Manchester United scuppered their chances of signing Daniele De Rossi after failing to meet a deadline set by Roma boss Rudi Garcia.
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.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.
Although De Rossi reveals he considered a move away from the Italian capital this summer, per Gladwell’s report, the loyal 30-year-old confirmed he would have found it difficult to move away from the Stadio Olimpico after last season’s Coppa Italia final defeat to arch-rivals Lazio:
I could not contemplate my last game in a Roma shirt being that derby.
That is the one thing I could not stomach. I could imagine myself in any other club in the world, lifting any trophy, but to think that my last game in a Roma shirt was a derby defeat in the Coppa Italia final... that would have been wrong.
De Rossi has played for Roma across his entire senior career and, alongside long-time servant Francesco Totti, has led the Italian giants to a duo of wins in the Coppa Italia and a single triumph in the Supercoppa Italiana.
Remarkably, De Rossi has five Serie A runners-up medals without ever winning the domestic league. He has also tasted defeat in the Coppa Italia final on five occasions, including last season’s painful 2-0 loss to Lazio.
Often linked with clubs around Europe, De Rossi's decision to stay in Rome is a commendable one. The swashbuckling midfielder—who played an important role during Italy’s 2006 World Cup win—has all the attributes to succeed in the Premier League.
Blessed with excellent distribution skills and the ability to regain possession, De Rossi’s physicality would have been particularly welcome at Old Trafford. Moyes’ pursuit of both a creative and physical midfielder could have been settled in one swoop, but the Scotsman failed to act quickly enough.
Unfortunately for United fans, De Rossi wasn’t the only high-profile player to get away. Moyes’ public pursuit of Cesc Fabregas came to an embarrassing halt, as reported by BBC Sport, while the imposter-ridden failure to capture Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Herrera baffled on deadline day, as Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail reported.
Moyes was forced to settle with the £27.5 million transfer of Marouane Fellaini. The towering Belgian has failed to inspire since joining the Red Devils and currently appears behind the pace of play, but he certainly has the potential to help Moyes’ men shake off a Premier League start that has seen United lose three of their opening six games.
De Rossi’s presence in the team would have added real bite to a United midfield that continues to become overrun. His all-round ability is something the Premier League champions currently do not possess and must find during the January transfer window.
Roma’s star midfielder even has previous at Old Trafford, netting in his side’s 7-1 defeat during the 2006-2007 Champions League campaign.
Right now, De Rossi’s name should be added to Moyes’ list of missed opportunities.