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De Rossi made his official Roma debut under Capello in the 2001-02 campaign and the current Russia coach holds his former charge in high esteem.
"David Moyes asked me for my opinion about De Rossi a few months ago and my opinion could only be positive," Capello told Fox Sports.
"If I were De Rossi, I would have gone to Manchester United and join a team where they have a lot of ambition."
Manchester United eventually strengthened their midfield with Marouane Fellaini from Everton on deadline day of the transfer window.