Reports: Roma star Daniele De Rossi eyes MLS future – NYCFC, Red Bulls interested

IMAGE, MLSSOCCER.COM

Is Italian hero and World Cup winner Daniele De Rossi looking to make the leap towards MLS?

Several Italian news outlets contend the 31-year-old defensive midfielder is looking for a change in scenery after falling in the depth charts under team boss Rudi Garcia

New York City FC are said to be the front runner, with his agent sharing closes ties to Sheik Mansour’s Manchester City Group.  According to Soccer Italia, however, the Red Bulls would also be interested in a mid-year swoop for his services.

Football Italia adds a caveat; De Rossi would only consider a move if Roma won the Scudetto.  They are currently three points behind Juventus for the top spot in Serie A.  This would fall in line with the player’s previous career decisions.  Two years ago, he was heavily rumored to join Manchester City, but stayed with Roma after a Coppa Italia Final defeat to Lazio.

There are several reasons to both believe and eschew the reports.  Times are certainly changing at Roma, both on and off the field, and the days of team lifers like Francesco Totti and De Rossi are approaching an end. 

However, at 31, De Rossi can still demand high salary offers from top leagues throughout Europe.  Further, his reduced playing time (11 appearances this season) may be a blow to his ego, but would it be worth leaving the only club he has known?  Yes, his name has been transfer fodder for the better part of three years, but making the actual leap would be surprising.

Another point of contention is the Red Bulls’ interest.  Currently, the team boasts the services of the reliable, and affordable, Dax McCarty.  He and Eric Alexander have developed a dynamic pairing which would have to be torn asunder and remodeled if De Rossi were acquired.

With all the moving parts in this story, there are reasons to still believe. De Rossi’s love for New York is well documented.  The Italian midfielder has admitted to visiting the Big Apple “over 20 times,” glowing about the City’s culture and lifestyle.  His longtime girlfriend, Sarah Felberbaum, is an actress who would most certainly entertain the idea of expanding her horizons in the World’s media capital as well. His previous connections to Manchester City would also make for an easy channel to discuss life with NYCFC.

If he does join NYCFC, they would boast one of the most dynamic and powerful spines in MLS history, with a healthy George John behind the midfield tandem of De Rossi and Lampard, capped off by Spanish legend, David Villa.