Daniele De Rossi sparks transfer speculation after saying Premier League is 'more interesting' than Serie A
Daniele De Rossi has admitted he is attracted by the Barclays Premier League ahead of Italy's European Championship clash with England.
De Rossi, who signed a new five-year contract with Roma in February, appeared to reignite speculation about his future yesterday when he claimed English football was "more interesting" than its Italian counterpart.
The midfielder has previously been linked with Manchester City and Manchester United and claimed he had received several offers to defect to the Premier League.
He said: "I have received many offers from English football. And I must say that I feel attraction for it.
"I like English football very much. I think now it's probably more interesting than Italian football.
"There are lots of outstanding and talented players, as is the case for Spain as well."
De Rossi's versatility makes him particularly attractive for potential suitors, with the 28-year-old having played both in defence and midfield for club and country this season.
He admitted he preferred the midfield anchor role, a position that would put him in direct confrontation with his "idol" in Sunday's quarter-final.
De Rossi revealed he dreamt of playing more like England captain Gerrard, who has shone for the Three Lions during Euro 2012.
He said: "Steven Gerrard has always been my idol. Since 10 years ago, he is among the best in the world.
"You see Gerrard defending and attacking here and there. I would like to be able to play more like that."
Italy boss Cesare Prandelli must decide whether to unleash Mario Balotelli on England this weekend.
The City striker is notorious for testing the patience of managers and team-mates alike.
De Rossi could not have summed up the mixed feelings towards the Manchester City forward better today as Balotelli's name once again dominated another press conference.
Asked about the "scandals" that have dogged Balotelli since his move to England, De Rossi said: "Mario and his tabloids issue? Ask him.
"I don't know if he's bothered, or maybe he is just feeding them too much.
"Of course, sometimes, he commits some mistakes off the pitch. But it's his responsibility.
"He simply has to accept the manager's decision."
Fellow midfielder Alessandro Diamanti was hoping to keep his place against England having made his finals debut in Monday's 2-0 triumph over the Republic of Ireland.
"I have a chance to play in a game that, only a couple of years ago, I could only dream of playing on the PlayStation," he said.
"I never gave up hope and I've worked hard for it.
"I will do everything that I can to help my team progress to the next round."
Wow - what a weekend for British Motorcycle racing!
by Luke Wilkins
22 May 2013 05:00 AM
The dust is barely settling on the Premier League season and the bookies are looking to persuade us ...
by Gareth Purnell
22 May 2013 02:01 AM
The guard has changed at Old Trafford for the first time in 26 years. Meanwhile, down the road, the ...
by The Sports Lawyer
21 May 2013 10:01 PM
Gaël Clichy: Roberto Mancini must take share of blame for dismissal
Sergio Garcia apologises for 'fried chicken' remark aimed towards Tiger Woods
Exclusive: Championship clubs set to push for safe-standing trials
Phil Neville in frame for role at Stoke City
Andy Carroll stalls on £15m move to West Ham in hope Newcastle step in
- 1 Terror at Woolwich barracks: Attacker tried to behead and disembowel British soldier
- 2 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 3 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 4 China agrees to impose carbon targets by 2016
- 5 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.