Rossi wants United stay
By Phil Jackson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Giuseppe Rossi says he wants to fight to replace Ruud van Nistelrooy at Man United.
Young apprentice Giuseppe Rossi says he wants to fight to replace his mentor Ruud van Nistelrooy at Manchester United in the coming season.
The Dutchman's departure looks imminent after five phenomenal seasons and The Red Devils have been left with a huge hole to fill.
Hopes of a new striker at Old Trafford have been all but dashed after Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed he would restore returning duo Alan Smith and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to fill in behind internationals Wayne Rooney and Louis Saha.
But Rossi has not given up his dreams of first team football with The Red Devils this season, despite suggestions that he could be farmed out on loan.
"I would prefer to stay and play," Rossi revealed.
"If you have to choose between all the teams in The Premiership, the first one that pops into your head is Manchester United.
"I do need to get some experience in The Premiership. If that means I have to go out on loan, then I will.
"But if there is the chance to stay here and play, that would be the ultimate."
Both the manager and forward are united in the belief that it would be futile for Rossi to carry on in the reserves where he has been creating waves and scoring freely for the past two seasons.
"I have had two years in the reserves and that is enough," Rossi commented.
"I don't think another season at that level would be the best thing for me at all."
The 19-year-old has already had been forced to make some difficult decisions so early in his fledgling career and none more so than that on his international status.
As an American-born Italian he has dual nationality, but turned down the chance to play in Germany for USA in favour of the world champions.
"I did have contact with the US squad," he admitted.
"They asked me to play and I knew there was an opportunity to get to the World Cup.
"But I also knew if I took that chance, I would never be able to play for Italy, which has been my dream virtually since the day I was born.
"I had to tell the USA the truth. I know it will be far harder trying to get in the Italian national team than the United States but I have absolutely no regrets about the option I have taken."
The talented youngster will be looking to cement his name firmly into United's plans and prove his quality this pre-season, which continues with the last game of the South African tour on Saturday.