Roma Coach Zdenek Zeman insists Daniele De Rossi “is not a problem, but he has not integrated himself into the squad.”
The comment comes just as the midfielder is set to make his comeback from a three-match ban.
“De Rossi is not a problem or a bum note for me, but he hasn’t performed the way he should’ve,” Zeman told TG1 cameras.
“He has not integrated himself into the squad. He is an important player for me and I hope he can perform the way he did in past seasons.”
The Coach was asked whether there was truth in the reports of clashes behind the scenes between the two men.
“I never had problems with him. I was disappointed with his words after the defeat to Juventus, but that is in the past now.”
De Rossi said after their 4-1 thrashing in Turin that it was wrong to lead Roma fans astray pre-season by talking about the Scudetto.
“Will he play against Fiorentina this weekend? He is training with real effort and you never know during the week who will be in better or worse shape. I hope he will be in better shape.”
These statements only pour fuel on the fire of rumours Manchester City are ready for a January swoop, as De Rossi is unsettled and has not quite found his place in Zeman’s 4-3-3 tactics.
“I don’t know why his start to the season has not been great, you could have many theories. Perhaps he was disturbed by the rumours at the start of the season, those reports that he was or wasn’t right for Roma, that Manchester City wanted him... That can influence a player.
“Personally, nobody has asked me for De Rossi. Some people say there are 10-11 clubs interested and I have a few doubts on that.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.