During last Monday’s press conference at the CONI, Francesco Totti certainly didn’t hold back when it came time to explaining why he was leaving Roma. As a matter a fact Er Puppone bombed atomically like Inspectkah Deck on the first verse of “Triumph” when he explained that the Boston based ownership’s master plan was to remove Romans from Roma.
But an unintended consequence of the feud between the players born and raised in Italy’s capital and president Pallotta and his shadow adviser Franco Baldini is that now Daniele De Rossi has reportedly decided to play for another Serie A club rather than go to MLS or Boca Junior. On top of the purely emotional factor of seeing a bandiera like De Rossi play for another team, there’s also the fact that he’s still an above average player at his position as long as you don’t use him for more than 20/25 starts a season.
But where could Daniele De Rossi go next? While we can certainly exclude Lazio (at least let’s hope so), there are numerous options at his disposal:
Juventus- the bianconeri have tried to sign De Rossi numerous times this decade and he could still be a useful player to them in the midfield. But with Gigi Buffon no longer a the club, the Old Lady can’t count on having him as a recruiter, the two are very close as demonstrated by the fact the former Italy keeper attended De Rossi’s last match at the Olimpico. Not sure Chiellini and Bonucci can have the same impact as Buffon when it comes to convincing him to join the dark side.
Inter- the nerazzurri offered De Rossi a multi year deal back in 2017 and Antonio Conte would love repeating the Andrea Pirlo signing at his new club. Inter have agreed to terms with Sassuolo for Stefano Sensi, are determined to keep Roberto Gagliardini and are the overwhelming favorites to sign Niccolo’ Barella- there’s no doubt De Rossi would fit in quite well with this Italian nucleus and would serve as a great mentor to this trio.
Inter can also offer Champions League football to De Rossi, a substantial salary and the former Roma captain has already played for Conte on the Azzurri. If playing on a top team is De Rossi’s priority, Inter certainly checks a lot of boxes.
Napoli- the partenopei are the clear favorites to sign his teammate Kostas Manolas and De Rossi would be an intriguing alternative in the midfield especially if Diawara and Allan are sold. But while the intense rivalry between the clubs is less of a factor for the Greek defender, seeing De Rossi with a Napoli jersey would likely be an extra tough pill to swallow for Roma fans, an entity De Rossi has no beef with unlike the ownership group.
Milan- the rossoneri are looking to shed high wages from their balance sheet and are targeting up and coming players who can either turn into stars. Could they make an exception for De Rossi? He certainly would be a great mentor for Giampaolo’s new squad, but lack of Champions League football and being further along the rebuilding process, could make Inter more appealing should De Rossi want to move to Milano.
Sampdoria- the blucerchiati’s president Ferrero is obsessed with Roma and his dream is to eventually buy the club. But in the meantime, he’s doing all he can to recreate the giallorossi vibe in Liguria. He recently just hired Eusebio Di Francesco to be the manager and has offered Francesco Totti a significant role as a director at the club.
If De Rossi’s main priority isn’t competing for a title or playing for one more season in the Champions League, Sampdoria can offer him a very intriguing destination, one that would also likely upset Roma fans less than say Napoli, Juventus, Inter or Milan.
Atalanta- the Bergamaschi are an intriguing dark horse now that they are in the Champions League. They’ve been pretty ambitious in the early stages of the transfer window by extending Pasalic’s loan and signing Luis Muriel, if that weren’t enough, they even offered Gigi Buffon the opportunity to return to Serie A. At the moment the former Juventus keeper is leaning towards replacing his friend Casillas at Porto, but wouldn’t it be something to see him and his good friend De Rossi playing for Gasperini next season?