Manchester City are launching a £35 million offer for AS Roma star Daniele de Rossi. The Daily Star says City boss Roberto Mancini is locked in a straight fight with bitter rival Sir Alex Ferguson to sign Italian World Cup winner De Rossi.

The Manchester United manager thought he was in pole position to land the Roma midfielder after planning an £18m bid.

But according to reports in Italy, City officials are planning to hijack his move to Old Trafford with a £35m offer.

Fergie had wanted De Rossi, 27, to plug the gap in Manchester United's midfield.

He sent two of his senior scouts to watch De Rossi in Roma's Serie A clash with Napoli earlier this season.

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