Roma want to make Chris Smalling transfer permanent | Soccrates Images/Getty Images
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling looks increasingly likely to complete a permanent transfer to Roma, having enjoyed a successful season on loan in the Italian capital in 2019/20.
Smalling was deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford by United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following the £80m arrival of Harry Maguire last summer. But the move to Italy brought a fresh lease of life and he was widely praised for his performances at the Stadio Olimpico.
Smalling was rejuvenated by loan to Serie A | Silvia Lore/Getty Images
Still under contract in Manchester until 2022, Smalling has been the subject of much gossip this summer and a permanent switch to Rome has been talked about for some time.
Gianluca Di Marzio now reports that Smalling has agreed personal terms with Roma ahead of a prospective permanent move, while the Serie A side are also getting closer to an agreement with United. It is said that the two clubs are ‘hard at work’ negotiating, with the next few days expected to be make or break. Roma are described as optimistic and confident it will happen.
Part of the initial problem with arranging a deal had been Roma’s concern over funds. However, the Giallorossi completed the €26.5m (£24m) sale of Czech striker Patrik Schick to Bayer Leverkusen on Thursday evening and Sky in Italy expect that windfall to now pay for Smalling.
Roma have sold striker Patrik Schick for €26.5m | Paolo Bruno/Getty Images
United are also seeking to move on Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones this summer. Rojo spent the second half of last season on loan with boyhood club Estudiantes, but was limited to only a single appearance because of injury and global circumstances. Jones featured just twice in the Premier League last season and only eight times in all competitions after falling well out of favour.
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