Garcia hopeful of hanging on to De Rossi

The holding midfielder has long been linked with a move to the Premier League but the Italian's new boss sees him as key part of the Giallorossi's plans for the future
As rumours suggesting Roma's Daniele De Rossi could be set for a summer move continue to circulate, newly appointed coach Rudi Garcia has vowed to do his best to keep the midfielder at the club.

The 29-year-old, currently on international duty with Italy at the Confederations Cup, has been linked with a move to the Premier League for some time now, with Chelsea and Manchester City amongst the suggested destinations, but Garcia intends to hold on to the anchorman.

“I'm working closely with [director of football Walter] Sabatini. We want to improve the squad but that first means retaining our best players - De Rossi is one of those,” he told a press conference.

Further outlining his plans for the 2013-14 season, the 49-year-old sees tightening things up at the back as the main priority for the Giallorossi - something De Rossi, whose contract runs out in 2017, would be a big part of as one of football's most highly-rated holding midfielders.

“We have to work on the defensive side of the game. Roma conceded far too many goals last season.”

Garcia would not mention transfer targets by name but revealed that he is keen on importing a few players from his former club as well as a few others from Ligue 1.

“I'm looking at a variety of players, both from Lille and elsewhere in France.”