Chris Smalling ‘on verge of joining Roma after Italian giants increase transfer offer closer to Manchester United’s £20m asking price’
- Chris Smalling excelled on loan at Roma last season – making 37 appearances
- The Italian giants have been keen to re-sign the defender on a permanent basis
- Manchester United have been holding firm on their asking price for Smalling
Manchester United are on the cusp of letting Chris Smalling re-join Roma on a permanent deal after a breakthrough in talks on Wednesday night.
The Italian giants have been keen to sign the centre back all summer but have been at loggerheads with United over the latter’s £20million asking price.
As reported by Sportsmail earlier on Wednesday, Roma were only prepared to pay £13.5m for the defender – an offer considerably lower than the Red Devils’ valuation.
Chris Smalling could be soon returning to Roma after a breakthrough in talks with Man United
The centre back excelled on loan at the Italian giants last season and Roma want to re-sign him
However, according to The Athletic they have now returned with a bid more suitable to United’s minimum fee requirement of above £18m and closer to their £20m demands.
They cite that only the final details of the deal between the two clubs needs to be resolved before it can be ratified.
United currently have a surplus of centre backs with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having seven – in the shape of captain Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Smalling – within his first-team squad. Of that septuplet Smalling has been the most likely to leave. Rojo is another who could be departing before Monday’s transfer deadline.
Smalling himself is keen on a return to Rome, having enjoyed both the regular minutes on the pitch and the lifestyle off the pitch – he was a regular tourist around the city’s museums and art galleries.
The 30-year-old made 37 appearances in all competitions for Roma last season – helping them finish fifth in Serie A.
Smalling has been with United for over 10 years, having joined at the age of 20 from Fulham in the summer of 2010.
He has made 323 appearances for the Red Devils and during his time at the club has won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup and one Europa League.
The centre back has also registered 31 caps for England since making his debut in 2011, but has not been picked for a squad under Gareth Southgate since 2017.
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