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Roma fortunes key to Wenger move for De Rossi

Arsene Wenger's preferred midfield target this summer is the Roma and Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi, although it would take a dramatic downturn in Roma's perilous financial position for the player to be sold.

Like Liverpool's pursuit of De Rossi's team-mate Alberto Aquilani, the player's future is bound up with financial issues at the club and the long-term plans of the Sensi family, who own it. De Rossi (26) is regarded as the club's most important player behind Francesco Totti and would command a transfer fee of around £30m, a record for Arsenal.

The suggestion that Wenger is prepared to bring his former captain Patrick Vieira back to the club has been privately dismissed although it would now appear that the Internazionale player has decided against a move to Arsenal's rivals Tottenham. Vieira had expressed a willingness last month to go ahead with the move but he has since changed his mind.

De Rossi is the kind of combative midfielder that Arsenal have lacked since the departure of Mathieu Flamini, albeit a much more sought-after version than the French player. Whether he would represent value for money in a hugely inflated transfer market would be debatable, especially given Wenger's announcement yesterday that he would not be pressurised into spending.

Having sold Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure to Manchester City, and with Emmanuel Eboue a target for Fiorentina, Wenger said he was not worried that his squad was depleted. "I feel we are strong enough but if we can add then we will do it," he said.

"In England people think that all the problems can be sorted out by buying players. I believe the biggest target is to work hard in training, improve what we can improve and have confidence in the players that we have. If we need to add then we will. We have money available, so for us it is now (important) to spend it in the right way."

There were further complications in Tomas Rosicky's recovery from injury when it was announced that the midfielder had picked up another problem in a friendly against Barnet on July 18.

The Czech midfielder has not played for 18 months and, with Samir Nasri injured, his return is crucial to Wenger. (© Independent News Service)

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