The expected departure of Daniele De Rossi from AS Roma this January – with Manchester City waiting in the wings – may be a touch premature after the Serie A club have made it known that they are willing to include a generous escape clause in any new contract the midfielder agrees to sign.

Roma are desperate to retain the services of their vice-captain and talisman but with only six months remaining on his present contract and the lure of a financially-rewarding Premier League challenge their hopes were fading.

Now however James Pallotta, an influential partner in the American syndicate UniCredit who own the Italian outfit, is preparing to fly over this week to formalise a key inclusion to the deadlocked negotiations.

Should Roma’s season fail to ignite (they are currently languishing in seventh) De Rossi would be free in invoke the escape clause next summer which is believed to be in the region of 20M Euros.

There is also the not insignificant matter of a bumper pay rise to 6M Euros should the 28-year old playmaker choose to stay at a club he has been loyal to since his senior debut in 2001.

De Rossi was the Italian Play of the Year in 2009 and has an ardent fan in Roberto Mancini who publicly declared his interest again last week saying, “He is a champion and he would be the perfect man to improve City. If we get the right signals, it is right that we try for him.”

If the compromise of the affordable escape clause persuades the player to stay in the Italian capital then Mancini’s admiration may have to continue to be from afar for a little while yet.