The Italy international could be available for as little as £12m in the summer transfer window due to the Spanish club's financial problems, with Premier League teams sounded out
By Greg Stobart
Villarreal will sell Giuseppe Rossi in the summer and have sounded out interest from Premier League clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham.
Goal.com understands the Italy international could be available for as little as £12 million at the end of the season due to Villarreal’s dire financial situation and the player’s desire to move to a bigger club.
Rossi is currently recovering from a cruciate knee injury that has kept him out of action since October last year and Villarreal fear they will now be forced to sell him on the cheap unless he recovers in time to feature for Italy at the European Championships in the summer.
|A TROUBLED CAMPAIGN
|Goal.com Spain's Martin Langer:
Giuseppe Rossi has taken La Liga by storm since he arrived at Villarreal in 2007. With a rare mixture of pace outside the box and coolness inside it, he is the side's spearhead.
Prior to this season, in his four years with the Yellow Submarine, the former Manchester United man never scored less than 10 goals and increased his tally every season – passing an astonishing 30 in 2010-2011.
Barcelona and Tottenham were keen on him, but no one came up with the right offer in the summer so he stayed at Villarreal for a final year.
The expectations were high as the team prepared to come back into the Champions League, but they endured a dismal start to the season and, on October 26, Rossi seriously injured his ACL, which has sidelined him for five months.
With a return to action still around a month away, Villarreal and Italy are crossing their collective fingers he can swiftly recapture his best form when he is back.
Tottenham have shown strong interest in the past having had a £35m bid rejected in January 2011 before making renewed efforts to bring him to White Hart Lane the following summer.
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is a huge fan of the American-born forward and the Londoners may look to take advantage of Villarreal’s financial situation, which could get even worse if they are relegated from La Liga this season. They sit 17th in the table, just four points clear of safety with 10 games to play.
Rossi is understood to prefer a move to Italy because of his frustrating experience in England, when he scored just once for United and failed to find the target in 11 appearances on loan at Newcastle.
United had a first refusal buy-back clause - the option to match any bid accepted by Villarreal - inserted in the £6.6m deal that took him from Old Trafford to El Madrigal in 2007.
There are no indications that Sir Alex Ferguson is considering re-signing Rossi but United are expected to be in the market for a striker with both Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen set to leave in the summer.
Liverpool’s problems in front of goal have been well documented and Rossi is a proven goalscorer, having netted 35 goals in all competitions last season.
Rossi fits the bill to solve the Reds’ goalscoring problems but much will depend on the futures of Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez, who have both been linked with moves away from Anfield.
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