Rossi was born in Teaneck, New Jersey to Italian parents, and, but opted to play for Italy, having moved to Europe just before his 13th birthday. Rossi has played 30 times for the Azzurri, scoring seven goals, but hasn’t played since 2014, and has rarely been in favour with current coach Antonio Conte. He missed out on a spot in the Italy squad for this summer’s European Championships.
“In hindsight, going back to when he chose between representing Italy or the USA, we should have chosen the USA,” Andrea Pastorello told Radio Bruno on Monday.
In 2006, Bruce Arena, then the US manager, invited Rossi into a training camp before that year’s World Cup, when Rossi was still a Manchester United reserve, but the striker declined, preferring to take his chances with Italy.
Arena, who now coaches LA Galaxy, told reporters at the time: “We’re not chasing around 18-year-old players that can’t get games for their club team and tell me they want to play for Italy.”
Fernando Rossi, Giuseppe’s father, told the New York Times in 2009: “Giuseppe took a big chance that he would make the Italian team. It was his goal. He was born here [in America], but he grew up soccer-wise in that environment.”
Arena later told the Times: “At the end of the day, who could argue? It was his dream to play for Italy. His father was influential. We tried for a while, over some time. But at the end of the day, he’s doing well in his club career and continues to have opportunities to play for his national team.”
Rossi still has a year left on his contract with Fiorentina. He spent the second half of last season on loan at Levante, and scored six goals in 17 games, but Pastorino has not ruled out him staying in Florence.
“I don’t think Levante will sign Rossi permanently – that’s the impression we’ve got,” Pastorino said. “It’s not the kind of transfer a second-division side can make. As for Fiorentina, I can’t exclude anything. We need to see what kind of tactics the coach is going to use and see if Rossi is suited to them.
“We left in January because Giuseppe wasn’t playing. If things were to change compared to 2015, I can’t exclude Rossi staying, otherwise I think it’s unlikely.
“There have been some rumours about other clubs, but there’s nothing definite. Given the relationship we have with Fiorentina, the Della Valles [Fiorentina’s owners] and the city, we’re only going to sit out the rest of his contract if the club agrees. Pepito was bought by Fiorentina at an extremely difficult moment of his career and we recognise that.”
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 31st May 2016 16.18 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010