Daniele De Rossi

The 29 year old Italian international has been widely linked with a move to the Etihad in January, with Roberto Mancini a known admirer and looking to strengthen his midfield ahead of the departure of Ivory Coast international Yaya Toure to the African Nations Cup (ANC).

The fact De Rossi, who has been with Roma his entire career to date, reportedly argued and fell out with Roma coach Zdenek Zeman further fuelled rumours of a transfer, as did the fact the player himself admitted a desire to play in the Premier league.

However, Roma officials have now dismissed any reports of a transfer or arguments with between coach and player, with club general manager (and former England assistant coach) Franco Baldini quoted as saying the club "won't sell him". The 52 year old Baldini also spoke out in support of Zeman for his work in reviving the capital club's fortunes.

"Zeman is our coach and his decisions are good for us, with regard to big players like De Rossi and [Pablo] Osvaldo as well. Zeman has the power to educate. We think that the squad is competitive enough to win soon," Baldini emphasised.

Silva Returns?

Meanwhile, Mancini and City will be hoping Spanish playmaker David Silva, who was injured in Spain's World Cup qualifier against France last week, can make a wonderfully quick recovery from his hamstring injury. The former Valencia winger is a key member of the champions' first team and may be needed to help beat Dutch champions Ajax, when the English club travels to Amsterdam for a Champions League group game. Mancini is already dealing with injuries to midfielders Rodwell and Javi Garcia.

"We're having a roll call today, with scans and everything. With David Silva in particular, we don't know how long he will be out for. I think they are looking at him thinking he might be in with a chance of playing on Wednesday against Ajax. With a couple of days for it to settle down, we will get a better picture," the Italian's assistant, Brian Kidd, said in a press conference.