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United and City 'neck and neck' in De Rossi chase
30th July 2013 3:00pm BST
Manchester United and Manchester City are expected to battle it out for the signature of Daniele De Rossi, who is edging closer to a Roma exit.
De Rossi, 30, was previously linked with a move to Chelsea but SportsDirect News understands the west London side have cooled their interest since the arrival of new manager Jose Mourinho.
With Chelsea out of the picture, United and City appear likely to go head-to-head for De Rossi as the Manchester giants continue their seach for a new midfielder.
United have so far been unsuccessful in their pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas and, after already losing out on Thiago Alcantara and Kevin Strootman, are understood to have now turned their attention to De Rossi.
At City, newly-appointed manager Manuel Pellegrini is believed to be keen on adding another defensive-minded midfield player to his side, with Gareth Barry edging closer to a departure from the club.
De Rossi, an Italy international, is likely to command a transfer fee in the region of £15-20 million.
Despite his advancing years, De Rossi is still considered an iconic part of the Roma set-up and the Italian club's directors, under no pressure to sell, will not be ready to sanction a deal on the cheap.
However, De Rossi is understood to be closer to a Roma exit than he has ever been before in his 13-year spell at the club, as new manager Rudi Garcia looks to reshape the side.
Related story: De Rossi profile