Giuseppe Rossi's future at Manchester United has come into doubt after it emerged that several of Italy's leading clubs were investigating whether Sir Alex Ferguson could be persuaded to sell the talented 19-year-old attacker.
Rossi is currently on loan at Parma and, having marked his debut in Serie A by scoring a splendid winner against Torino on Sunday, his agent Andrea Pastorello said that Milan, Juventus, Roma and Internazionale had all inquired about the teenager's potential availability, while Barcelona are also said to have registered an interest.
That may alarm Ferguson but it is unlikely to surprise him given how highly he rates Rossi, who struggled to make much of an impact during a loan spell at Newcastle earlier this season. Ferguson has spoken about Rossi being an integral part of United's future and the Old Trafford hierarchy have repelled a number of potential buyers over the last year. "They have great faith in Giuseppe and turned down a £4.2m bid before the season started," said Pastorello. "I'm grateful to United and we will never clash. But in terms of his characteristics, I think Rossi is more suited to the Italian game and that's why we rejected a loan to another English club [after his spell at Newcastle]. He is at Parma now and he has a chance to shine."
Rossi is contemplating whether he would be better off staying at Old Trafford or moving to another club where he might stand a better chance of playing more regularly. "We have had contact with Barcelona," Pastorello confirmed. "But I repeat that it will not be easy to take him away from Manchester United." Asked about a possible fee, he replied: "They've already said no to £4.2m, which is no small fee by today's standards."