Manchester United tipped off about De Rossi's availability

 

The representatives of Roma's gifted central midfielder Daniele de Rossi are understood to have made Manchester United aware of his availability next season, as he contemplates removing his family from the city where his father-in-law was murdered and he is now understood to be the victim of a blackmail campaign.

De Rossi has a year to run on his £60,000-a-week contract at Roma but though he is the vice captain of the side and plays in the city where he was born and bred, there is an increasing sense that one of the more established talents in Italy will be at the centre of one of the most intriguing transfer stories of the summer.

Though reports from Spain yesterday suggested that Real Madrid may have an interest in a £20m-rated player, the approach to United lends credence to the view that he favours a radical change of scene after the events of the past two years.

Roma would not stand in his way should he decide to leave one year early and uncertainty over both the manager and ownership of Roma may be a deciding factor. At 27, De Rossi does not fit the United age profile for acquisitions, though he is one of the continent's leading midfield talents.

De Rossi's family was devastated by the events of 11 August 2008 in which Massimo Pisnoli, 48, father of De Rossi's then wife Tamara, was killed by two bullets delivered from a hunting gun, near the car park of a railway station in Aprilia, not far from Rome. Mr Pisnoli's body was found a few days later but the story has since become more complex and De Rossi has been drawn into it.

Two men, aged 48 and 40, were arrested and confessed to the killing, apparently a revenge over the carve-up of money stolen during a bank robbery where Pisnoli and the two killers had taken part. Pisnoli had a criminal record for robbery and theft. De Rossi and his wife subsequently separated in 2009.

Only a narrow group of clubs are likely to be within reach of signing De Rossi and though Manchester City are one of them, he is not known to have any particular association with Roberto Mancini. Roma have sacked Claudio Ranieri and replaced him temporarily by Vincenzo Montella.

Thomas DiBenedetto, leader of an American consortium and a business partner at Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group, is hoping to buy off Roma's Sensi family within the next three weeks. The Americans have the same view as Roma's current owners – that De Rossi might understandably want to leave.

Meanwhile, the level of interest paid last year by United's owners on £220m payment-in-kind loans which have since been paid off, has been revealed as £30.2m – taking the Red Football Joint Venture, the Glazer family's parent company that owns United to a £108.9m loss.

Red Football's outgoings also include some one-off costs from setting up the £526m bond scheme last year to replace their bank loans, according to accounts for the year ending 30 June 2010. The previous year the company had recorded £21m profit thanks largely to the £80m sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before