Daniele De Rossi should not be considered as a traitor if he decides to leave hometown club Roma, says Vincent Candela.
The midfielder’s contract expires in June and he could move on a Bosman free transfer should he fail to put pen to paper on a new deal.
“It shouldn’t have got to this stage,” Candela, who won the Scudetto with Roma in 2001, told Radio Incontro.
“He should have been handed a new contract two or three years ago, even if this situation isn’t down to the club’s present owners.
“Daniele is a Romanista and one of the best players in the world in terms of his role,” the Frenchman continued.
“I hope that he stays and wins with Roma, but if he did leave to go and join a club like Real Madrid or Manchester United then I wouldn’t define him as a traitor.”
De Rossi has been in talks with the club since the summer in a bid to find an agreement over a new contract.
However, a difference between what the player is asking for in terms of salary and what he is being offered remains.
De Rossi, who played alongside Candela for the Giallorossi, has been in the first team squad since 2001.