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Riccardo Montolivo and Daniele De Rossi’s contract situations exemplify a worrying trend for Serie A clubs. Two of Italy’s first choice midfielders are out of contract next summer and there is increasing debate about whether or not their clubs can keep hold of them.

Fiorentina's Ricky Montolivo (AP Photo)

It is an alarming situation that both Fiorentina and Roma find themselves in. They’re a third of the way into a new season and rumours about their star players persist.

Montolivo is continually linked with both Milan clubs and now foreign sides such as Liverpool. Fiorentina are being forced into a position where they may have to sell the star asset. Poor form on the pitch, combined with managerial changes and corruption charges for the owners have exacerbated the situation.

De Rossi is engaged in a stand-off with Roma over his contract. The home-grown player is thought to be key to Roma’s future plans, and yet they cannot agree terms. The player’s form has been below-par for the last two years and he has not fulfilled expectations. Personal issues have also detracted from his form and he has moved into a new bachelor pad to “settle down.”

Luis Enrique has moved De Rossi into a sweeper-like role in-front of the defence, creating their attacking moves. He has moved into this role with remarkable ease.

De Rossi is rumoured to be of interest to both Real Madrid and Manchester City. Roberto Mancini remains keen on his fellow Italian as he looks to add Champions League experience to the City squad.

But with Euro 2012 less than 7 months away, both players need to end the uncertainty around their futures. It is potentially damaging for them to go into a tournament with speculation surrounding them. Cesare Prandelli will certainly not want any distractions.

So what are the most likely outcomes? Danielle De Rossi is most likely to sign a new contract at Roma. He has recently stated his desire to succeed Francesco Totti as Roma Captain and if his recent good form continues, it shouldn’t be difficult for Roma to agree a new deal.

Montolivo’s future however, is hard to predict. It is almost certain that he will leave Florence and look to a new Serie A club. AC Milan could look to him to add another midfielder to an already impressive squad. He would fit in well, especially if Alberto Aquilani’s loan deal is not made permanent. Juventus or Internazionale could be other options.

In other Rome related news. Totti and Boriello recently organised a squad-get-together over pizza to ease tensions. There had been a bad atmosphere at the club after Paulo Osvaldo had punched Eric Lamela following the weekend defeat to Udinese. The squad gathered at a pizzeria and Osvaldo and Lamela were forced to pay the bill.

Ryan Ross

I became enthralled with Calcio back in the 90’s, when James Richardson presented Football Italia. My early mornings were spent following the trials and tribulations of Internazionale, during a period where they always flattered to deceive. It took a Frenchman to get me hooked though; Youri Djorkaeff, my favourite player of all time. This guy was key to Inter’s midfield, never mind his role in France’s World Cup win in 1998! I have a keen interest in Calcio’s rich history.

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